Riyad February 6 2023: The Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources (MIM) reported that the number of mining complexes in Saudi Arabia reached 377 by the end of 2022, over 44,365 square kilometers, across 13 regions.
Makkah Region is at the top with 76 complexes, followed by Riyadh with 60 complexes, Al-Medina with 53 complexes, Asir with 34 complexes, Eastern Province with 25 complexes, Najran with 24 complexes, Qassim with 23 complexes, Al-Jawf with 20 complexes, Al-Baha with 17 complexes, Hail with 16 complexes, Tabuk with 14 complexes, Jizan with 11 complexes and the Northern Borders Province with 4.
The mining complexes consist of over 20 types of minerals, including gravel, gold, iron, copper, granite and marble.
MIM also reported that the number of mineral belts in Saudi Arabia reached 35 belts, as of 2022, across 305,000 square kilometers, 14% of the Kingdom's size; 94% of these belts are in the Arabian Shield, which covers 622,00 square kilometers. The mineral deposits of these belts represent about 75% of Saudi Arabia's mineral deposits, an estimated 5 trillion Saudi riyals. The mineral belts distributed over the administrative regions of the Kingdom have 9 belts in Makkah Al-Mukarramah, 7 in Asir, 6 in Riyadh, 5 in Tabuk, 4 in Medina, 2 in Al-Baha, 1 in Al-Qassim, and 1 in Najran. The mineral belts are distributed according to type; 16 belts for gold, 15 belts for sulphides, 3 belts for nickel and 1 belt for zinc.
In 2020, MIM updated the mining investment law in the Kingdom to unleash the sector's potential, improve transparency and maintain investors' confidence. The new law also created an integrated mining system built for the long term, protecting workers and the environment.
The ministry aims to develop the areas adjacent to the mining activities by creating job opportunities for communities living in these areas and increasing local spending. In contrast, the environmental management plan of each mining activity requires investors to provide environmental impact studies, rehabilitation and closure plans for mining sites.