Saudi Arabia has awarded a local company a permit to hunt for gold at a large site in the Southern region, the company has said. 

Amak Mining Company (AMC) was granted the permit in Asir Province by the Industry and Mineral Resources Ministry last week, AMC said on Saudi Tadawul bourse. 

The statement, published by the Saudi Arabic language daily Al-Madina on Monday, said the site has an area of 34 square kilometres (sq km) and the permit is valid until Nov 2027. 

“AMC will carry out exploration studies and surveys at that site during this period to ensure required ore substances are available,” the statement said. 

Saudi Arabia, which controls the world’s second largest proven oil deposits, has awarded scores of mining permits since it began enforcing a new law two years ago with the aim of attracting capital into its mineral wealth, which it estimates at over 5 trillion Saudi riyals ($1.33 trillion). 

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)