Saudi Geological Survey inks $530mn worth contracts

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Saudi Geological Survey (SGS) has signed several agreements with international organizations and consultants to implement projects related to the Geological Survey General Program.

It is one of the largest geological surveys in the world, with the budget for all its stages amounting to over $530 million (SR2 billion).

The signing ceremony was held under the auspices of Bandar Alkhorayef, Saudi Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, with the participation of Khalid Al-Faleh, Minister of Trade, Saleh Al-Jasser, Minister of Transport, foreign envoys and representatives of international firms awarded the contracts.

Mr. Alkhorayef said the signing of these contracts marked the beginning of the massive efforts of the Country to collect data. “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 would ensure that more reliable and accurate data on the Kingdom’s mineral resources are obtained, which will enable the relevant authorities to tap into the vast mineral reserves and build a stable foundation for a sustainable national economy.

The program takes a three-pronged approach that involves advanced geophysical atmospheric surveys, geochemical multicomponent surveys and detailed geological maps.

The SGS stated that one of the contracts involved a technical cooperation arrangement with a consortium including the International Geoscience Services Company and the Geological Survey of Finland.

The China Geological Survey has been awarded a multicomponent geochemical survey contract for the Arabian Shield. Over the next 6 years, it intends to obtain and study more than 110,000 samples of valley sediments and heavy metals in the Arabian Shield.

Dr. Zhong Ziran, President of the Geological Survey of China, said the contract marked the beginning of big cooperation between China and Saudi Arabia.

The SGS awarded Sander Geophysics Limited the contract for the advanced aerial geophysical survey contract for Sector No.1 of the Arabian Shield.

The company will collect and analyze geophysical data under the deal, generate different digital geophysical maps, and identify rock formations and mineralization evidence in the field.

The program is currently aimed at surveying nearly 600,000 square kilometers of the Arabian Shield region, which is rich in minerals.

The other three contracts for the advanced aerial geophysical survey of Sectors 2 and 3 of the Arabian Shield were awarded to Xcalibur Airborne Geophysics.

Simon Bush, CEO of Xcalibur, said, “It gives me great pleasure to work with the Saudi Geological Survey.”

All of these projects aim to raise the mining sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product of the Kingdom and generate 220,000 new jobs.