Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources announced on Wednesday that the UK-Saudi consortium of Moxico Resources and Ajlan & Bros Mining Company emerged as the winner of the electronic multi round auction for Khnaiguiyah exploration license.

The four-day auction comprised of 44 rounds.

Spread over an area of ​​353.8 square kilometres west of Riyadh in Al Quwaiiyah governorate, the Khnaiguiyah exploration license is the largest in the Kingdom.

The winning consortium bid up the signing bonus by 256 million Saudi riyals ($68 million) to clinch the auction, according to press statement issued by the Ministry.

The other two consortiums participating in the muti-round auction round were:

  1. Alara Saudi Ventures and Al Tasnim Enterprises
  2. Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) and Ivanhoe Electric

The press statement said the project had attracted the interest of more than 30 national and international companies with 24 prospective bidders making it to the prequalification stage. Six bidders made detailed submissions, which culminates with the Ministry inviting the top 3 bidders to only bid for the license in a multi-round auction to maintain transparency and ensure a completely unbiased process.

The statement said the winning bidder has committed to drilling more than 90,000 metres with an expedited exploration programme and commercial production start date. In addition, the consortium will dedicate 0.6 percent of the annual turnover towards various social initiatives including schools, healthcare and transportation and hire up to 83 percent of the employees locally.

The Khnaigiuyah site’s mining potential is estimated at approximately 25 million tonnes of Zinc and Copper ores at 4.11 percent zinc and 0.56 percent of copper.

SDC Code: 4212347158

(Writing by Marwa Abo Almajd; Editing by Anoop Menon)