Saudi Arabia has issued more than 2,300 permits for new mines since it began enforcing a landmark law intended to attract capital into its massive mining industry, according to official data. In April alone, the world’s largest oil exporter granted 55 permits to local and foreign investors, including 34 licenses for metal exploration, the Industry and Mineral Resources Ministry said in a recent report.
By the end of April this year, the Gulf Kingdom has issued a total of 2,336 mining permits since it introduced the mining investment law in June 2020.
These comprise 634 permits for minerals exploration as well as 180 for exploitation of small mines and 36 for surveying and exploitation. The report showed 573 permits were issued in the capital Riyadh while 374 were issued in the Eastern region, 258 in Western Medina and 213 in the Southern Asir province.
Announcing the law, Saudi officials said it aims to tap the country’s metal resources, estimated at 5 trillion riyals ($1.33 trillion).