Saudi Arabia has launched the next steps related to the awarding of licenses for the Khnaiguiyah Project, the kingdom’s largest mining exploration site.
The prospective investors can submit an expression of interest and complete a pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) by visiting Khnaiguiyah licensing portal, the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources (MIM) said.
Khnaiguiyah is the Kingdom’s largest exploration site, covering more than 350 square-kilometer area. It forms part of the Arabian Shield, which has a potential value of $1.3 trillion across 48 commodities, according to official data.
Qualified bidders are invited to submit their completed PQQ by March 14. The award process will include three stages including, qualification, proposal and auction, each of which could feature multiple rounds. The Ministry expects to conclude the process in the second quarter of this year.
The PQQ requests the prospective bidders to submit customary information regarding their technical knowledge and experience, capability, capacity, and organizational and financial standing, mapped to the project’s outlined criteria. The PQQ enables the MIM to assess an organization’s professional and technical qualifications, and competence to become the license holder.
The tender process is based on the new Saudi Mining Investment Law, which was developed following extensive global benchmarking and is among the most competitive in the world. The law is part of an overarching effort led by MIM to transform and attract investment in its mining sector.
Extensive exploration work already has been carried out at the Khnaiguiyah site, covering 100,000 meters drilled and a 3D geological model. The Saudi Geological Survey has confirmed the site’s considerable geological potential of approximately 26 million tons of zinc and copper. Expansion of the country’s industrial and mining sectors is an important part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 plans.