2000 News Story

Petroleum ministry issues mining report

Introducing the Ministry's report on mining for the fiscal year 1999, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral

Resources Ali Al-Naimi cited total quantities of mineral resources exploited of around 34 million tons,

including 16 million tons of cement, 400,000 tons of gypsum, and just over 4,000 kilograms of gold. He

commented that the Ministry has been exerting efforts to attract local and international investment for the

Kingdom's mineral resources, pointing out that licenses are being issued for exploration for industrial

metals as well as gold and semi-precious metals. Mining concessions for industrial metals include gypsum

deposits and materials required for the ceramic industry as well as salt pans and silica sand. Other

licenses have been granted for raw materials such as lime, basalt, marble and iron. While work is well

under way at the Mahd-Al-Dahab gold mine, run by the Ma'aden Company, and at the Saudi Precious

Metals Company's Al-Sukheirat mine, operations have not yet started on copper, zinc and lead deposits at

Al-Masani mine, and the mines of Al-Mar and Al-Hijar are still under development.