HomeMining and Metal License

Mining in Saudi Arabia has ancient roots, but modern activities started in the 1930s with oil discovery, leading to gold and copper mining. Essential for economic diversification, it’s a key focus of Saudi Vision 2030, aiming to establish mining as a significant contributor alongside oil and petrochemicals in industrial growth. The Ministry has identified 60 promising mining opportunities in the upstream sector, anticipating discovering additional prospects in the coming years.

Mining and Metal License in KSA

A mining license is a legal authorization granted by a government to personnel or companies, allowing them to explore, extract, and commercially utilize mineral resources within a specific area. It delineates rights, responsibilities, and environmental regulations, ensuring sustainable and regulated mining practices. Covering an expansive 600,000 square kilometres, the Arabian Shield in Saudi Arabia stands as a significant reservoir of precious and base minerals. The Kingdom has identified over 48 minerals within this region, with a minimum of 15 proving economically valuable.

The mining sector holds vital importance in Saudi Arabia.
Abundant Resources:
  • Saudi Arabia is rich in gold, copper, zinc, phosphate, bauxite, and iron ore.
  • Mining sector development aims to capitalize on these resources for economic growth.
Government Support:
  • The Saudi government actively backs the mining sector to raise GDP contribution by 2030.
  • Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden) leads sector development efforts.
Investment Focus:
  • Billions invested (2011-2020) in new mines, expanding existing ones, and modernizing infrastructure.
Regulatory Framework for Mining in KSA 

Saudi Arabia’s mining sector is governed by a recently enacted Mining Investment Law, overseen primarily by the Ministry of Industrial and Mineral Resources. This legislation introduces a comprehensive regulatory framework, encompassing key aspects such as licensing, sustainability, financial compliance, and monitoring and inspection measures. The Ministry plays a pivotal role in enforcing and upholding the provisions outlined in the Mining Investment Law, ensuring the responsible and sustainable development of the mining industry in the Kingdom.

Complete mineral potential by mineral groups in KSA

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) boasts substantial untapped mineral potential, as highlighted in the comprehensive Mineral Potential Assessment report by Watts, Griffis, and McOuat Limited (WGM). The country harbors abundant reserves across various metal categories, including gold, copper, zinc, lead, silver, and nickel. Here are key details from the EMINERS Model for different minerals in the KSA:

Gold Reserves in the KSA:
  • Confidence level: 50%
  • Total resources: 56,263,984 ounces
  • Gross in-situ value (US $): $69 billion
Copper Deposits in the KSA:
  • Confidence level: 50%
  • Total resources: 2,243,000 tons
  • Gross in-situ value (US $): $17 billion
Zinc Deposits in the KSA:
  • Confidence Level: 50%
  • Total resources: 4,383,900 tons
  • Gross in-situ value (US $): $0.9 billion
Lead Deposits in the KSA:
  • Confidence level: 50%
  • Total resources: 448,900 tons
  • Gross in-situ value (US $): $0.8 billion
Silver Deposits in the KSA:
  • Confidence Level: 50%
  • Total resources: 95,938,000 ounces
  • Gross in-situ value (US $): $2 billion
Nickel Deposits in the KSA:
  • Confidence level: 50%
  • Total resources: 108,000 tons
  • Gross in-situ value (US $): $1.6 billion
Securing a mining license necessitates the inclusion of an Environmental Impact Study (EIS) that aligns with specific criteria:
  • Adherence to the stipulations outlined in the Environmental Law is mandatory.
  • The EIS must be submitted to the National Center for Environmental Compliance.

Moreover, exploration or building materials quarry license applicants must submit an environmental impact management plan. This plan, crafted by the Ministry’s designated form, should encompass:

  • Comprehensive information about relevant laws and regulations.
  • Detailed data about the applicant.
  • Specifics regarding the location for which the license is sought.
  • Clearly outlined obligations as per the Environmental Impact Management Plan.
  • A commitment from the Executive Director to adhere to the Environmental Impact Management Plan stipulations.
Distinct types of licenses outlined in the New Mining Law
  • Reconnaissance License, granted for up to two years 
  • Exploration License with renewal options and covering a maximum of km2 for several years.
  • Building Materials Quarry License, initially valid for limited years, specifically for Class C construction materials. 
  • Each license serves a unique purpose in regulating mining activities.
Rules and restrictions for obtaining a Mining license in KSA
  • Maintain consistency between Saudi shareholder percentage and capital, following activity-specific financial limits.
  • Premium residence holders are exempt from document submission.
  • Disclose any previous Ministry of Investment licensing when inputting partner data.
  • Electronic application submission.
Acquire your Mining License in KSA with our expert consultation

Helpline Group is your trusted business consultant in Saudi Arabia, focused on helping clients obtain mining licenses. With 25 years of experience, we are known for providing quick and accurate services. Our presence is global, with 10 branches worldwide, and our team includes over 300 experts dedicated to offering excellent consultation services.