Qualified bidders confirmed for Umm Ad Damar licensing round

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Industry & Mineral Resources announces 13 bidders qualified for second stage of Umm Ad Damar exploration site licensing round

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources (MIM) has announced that 13 bidders have qualified for the second stage of the Umm Ad Damar exploration site licensing round – the second of its kind in the Kingdom.

Copper, zinc, gold and silver mining

In a statement, MIM explained that Umm Ad Damar is an early exploration site that is part of the mineral rich Arabian Shield and covers more than 40 square kilometres. The ministry added that the development of the site is in line with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, which seeks to transform the mining sector into the third pillar of the national industries.

Lying 300 kilometres northeast of Jeddah, and 25 kilometres northwest of Mahd Adh Dhahab town, on the Jeddah geological terrane in the Jabal Saiyd mineralised belt within the Mahad formation, the Umm Ad Damar deposit contains copper, zinc, gold and silver.

The announcement of the 13 qualified bidders follows the submission of qualification questionnaires on July 17, 2022, from a diverse pool of highly experienced and competent candidates, the statement said. These candidates were both local and international firms aiming to proceed to the second stage of the licensing round.

The Ministry has qualified 13 bidders from this pool to the proposal stage: Abdul Rahman Saad AlRashid & Sons Co. (ARTAR); African Rainbow Minerals; Al Masane Al Kobra Mining Company (AMAK); Alara Saudi Ventures PTY LTD, Barrick Gold T 7 Limited; Consortium between Moxico Resources PLC and Ajlan & Bros mining company; ERG Arabia LLC; Norin Mining Ltd; Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden); UDS Golden Group; Vedanta Limited; Yancoal Australia Ltd; and Yilmaden Holding.

MIM said that the qualified bidders will receive an Information Memorandum, which sets out the requirements to follow when submitting their proposals for the site exploration license. The selected companies are then given until of the beginning of October 2022 to complete and submit their proposals. 

Proposal submissions will be assessed based on a number of criteria, including technical, financial, environmental, and social management plans, the ministry said. Qualified bidders will be able to access the data room, which includes an Independent Technical Report and additional data such as the 3D model.

The qualified bidders will also be invited to a workshop organised by the Ministry to learn more about the next stages of the licensing round process and visit the site in person, should they wish to do so. This shall be followed by a multi-round auction to select the preferred bidder, the MIM statement explained.

Saudi Arabia’s sustainable future

Given 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 in terms of providing a social plan that demonstrates the bidders’ positive contribution and commitment to the surrounding communities, it continued. 

The ministry statement concluded by highlighting the importance of the current Umm Ad Damar licensing round, terming it as a key milestone towards achieving the objectives of enabling the growth of the mining industry in Saudi Arabia and diversifying the economy towards a sustainable future.

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