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Big demand for mining licences in Saudi Arabia, says report

There has been a notable increase in the demand for mining licences across Saudi Arabia following the implementation of a new investment law in 2021, reported SPA, citing the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources.
It is mainly aimed at promoting investment in the sector, spurring development and boosting the KSA’s mineral production.
According to the ministry, the number of exploration licences has more than doubled (from 8 before the law was passed) to 19 in 2023, representing a growth rate of 138%.
This surge is attributed to the kingdom’s plan to make the mining sector a key component of the national industry, thus positioning KSA as a reliable global destination for mining activities, it stated.
Furthermore, the kingdom aims to maximise the exploration of its estimated SAR9.4 trillion ($2.5 trillion) worth of mineral wealth.
According to the ministry, the Mining Investment Law has significantly streamlined the process of obtaining mining licences, attracting both local and international investors.
As a result, the number of building material quarry licenses increased 241%, to 538 in 2023 from 158 before the law was enacted, and of exploration rose to 259 in 2023, compared to 58 before the law, a growth rate of 347%.
The mining strategy initiatives, such as the Accelerated Exploration Program, have led to more licenses being issued. These initiatives have reduced the time required to obtain necessary approvals, which before used to take several months.