Alkhorayef said signing these contracts marks the beginning of the Kingdom’s massive data collection efforts. “It is the first step toward making the mining sector the third pillar” of the Saudi industrial landscape, he said.
The minister said the program will ensure gathering more reliable and accurate data about the Kingdom’s mineral resources, which will help the relevant authorities tap into the vast mineral wealth and lay a solid foundation for a sustainable national economy.
The program takes a three-pronged approach that includes advanced atmospheric geophysical surveys, multicomponent geochemical surveys and production of detailed geological maps.
Providing details about the contract in a statement, the SGS said one of the contracts includes a technical partnership deal with a consortium including International Geoscience Services Co. and Geological Survey of Finland.
A multicomponent geochemical survey contract for the Arabian Shield has been awarded to China Geological Survey. It is aimed at collecting and analyzing more than 110,000 samples of valley sediments and heavy metals in the Arabian Shield over the next 6 years.
Dr. Zhong Ziran, China’s vice minister for geological survey, said that the contract marked the beginning of a great cooperation between Saudi Arabia and China.
The SGS awarded the contract for advanced aerial geophysical survey contract for Sector No. 1 of the Arabian Shield to Sander Geophysics Ltd.
Under the deal, the company will collect and analyze geophysical data, produce various digital geophysical maps, and identify rock formations and evidence of mineralization in the region.
The program currently aims to survey nearly 600,000 sq. km. of the mineral-rich Arabian Shield region.
The other three contracts were awarded to Xcalibur Airborne Geophysics to carry out advanced aerial geophysical survey of sectors 2 and 3 of the Arabian Shield.
Simon Bush, CEO of Xcalibur, said: “It gives me great pleasure to work with the Saudi Geological Survey.”
All these programs seek to boost the contribution of the mining sector to the Kingdom gross domestic product and create 220,000 new jobs.