Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources released on Sunday the list of 13 local and international companies qualified bid for the exploration sites of Muhaddad and Ar Ridaniyah.

Ar Ridaniyah site, which is located in Riyadh, covers an area of 75 square kilometres (sq km), and has zinc and silver deposits. Muhaddad site in Asir spans an area of 139 sq km and contains copper, zinc, lead, and gold deposits.

The prequalified bidders are as follows:

  • African Rainbow Minerals (ARM)
  • Alara Saudi Ventures
  • AMAK almasane alkobra mining
  • Barrick Gold Corporation
  • ERG Arabia
  • Moxico Resources
  • Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden)
  • YILMADEN Holding
  • Vedanta
  • Abdulrahman Saad Alrashid & Sons Co ARTAR
  • Ajlan & Bros Mining Company & Norin Mining Company
  • Panoro Minerals
  • Royal Road & MSB Holding Company Consortium

The proposal submission deadline will be in May 2023, and the results of the bidding stage will be declared in June 2023, with exploration licenses to the winning bidders issued within three months of the end of the round, the ministry statement noted.

In February 2023, Zawya Projects had reported that Saudi Arabia had started the prequalification phase for five new mining opportunities that were showcased at the Future Minerals Forum 2023 (FMF 2023) in Riyadh in January 2023.

The Kingdom had awarded two major exploration licenses last year, namely Khnaiguiyah in September 2022 and Umm Ad Damar in October 2022.

(Writing by Anoop Menon; Editing by Bhaskar Raj)