The Saudi Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources (MIM) has confirmed 8 firms as the qualified bidders for the largest mineral exploration license at Khnaigiuyah site, the kingdom’s largest mining exploration site, bringing the licensing round to an end.
Alara Saudi Ventures, Al Masane Al Kobra Mining Company (AMAK), Essel Mining & Industries Limited, Ivanhoe Electric, Moxico Resources, Norin Mining, Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden), and Vedanta Limited are the qualified bidders.
They will receive the information memorandum, which sets out the requirements for qualified bidders to submit their best proposals for the site. Qualified bidders are given two months to complete and submit their proposals.
Proposal submissions will be assessed based on criteria, including technical and commercial terms, and financial and social and environmental management plans. Qualified bidders can now access the data room, which will be updated shortly with further documentation of an independent technical report and additional data relating to the site such as a full land survey and a social study conducted for the site.
The qualified bidders will also be invited to a conference hosted by the Ministry, to learn more about the next stages of the licensing round process and visit the site in person. Considering the emphasis Saudi Arabia is placing on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) as it seeks to lead and transform the region’s mining sector, bidders will need to demonstrate how they will uphold these principles.
The Ministry will select a single successful bidder who will enter final negotiations on the terms of the exploration license, or alternatively, following the proposal stage. If two or more proposals scores fall within a comparative range, the Ministry will designate these bidders as ‘Competitive Bidders’ and invite them to participate in a final licensing round stage in the form of a Multi-Round Auction.
The Khnaigiuyah site covers an area of more than 350 square kilometers and has a huge mining potential of approximately 25 million tons of ore at 4.11 percent of zinc and 0.56 percent of copper. The Ministry launched the licensing round of the Khnaigiuyah exploration license at the beginning of this year.