Oil giant Saudi Arabia has awarded a new mine exploration license to a local company as part of the Kingdom’s ongoing drive to tap its massive mineral resources, a Saudi newspaper reported on Wednesday. 

The Industry and Mineral Resources Ministry awarded the ‘Abar Al-Qasab’ gypsum site near the Western Medina City to Khayat Gypsum Company, the Arabic language daily Aliqtisadia said, citing a Ministry statement. 

Ministry spokesman Jarrah Al-Jarrah said the company won the contract after an online completion that involved eight firms.

The site has an area of around 0.6 square km and geological surveys have shown large layers of gypsum in the area, he added. 

Saudi Arabia has awarded scores of mine contracts over the past months following the enforcement of a new mining law intended to attract domestic and foreign capital into its mineral sector, estimated at 5 trillion riyals ($1.33 trillion). 

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)