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Saudi Gold Mine Finds More Gold, Boosts Economy

A discovery of gold deposits south of an existing mine could lead to more jobs and revenue for the kingdom

by Victor Adetimilehin

Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, is looking to diversify its economy and boost its gold production. The Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) announced on Thursday that it had discovered multiple gold deposits south of its existing Mansourah Massarah gold mine, indicating the potential to expand gold mining in the area.


An exploration program launched in 2022 yielded the first results of new finds along a 100-kilometer strip. Two random drilling sites located 400 meters from and under Mansourah Massarah were tested, and the samples taken showed a high density of gold in the ore. Specifically, the samples contained high-grade gold deposits of 10.4 grams per tonne (g/t) gold and 20.6 g/t gold.


Maaden said it planned to increase its drilling activities in 2024 around Mansourah Massarah, which had gold resources of almost seven million ounces at year-end 2023 and a nameplate production capacity of 250,000 ounces a year.


A Promising Step for Sustainable Energy

The discovery of more gold could help Saudi Arabia reduce its dependence on oil and increase its revenues from other sources. According to a report by Mining.com, the kingdom has been pursuing a vision to transform its economy and society by 2030, which includes developing its mining sector and attracting foreign investment.


Gold is one of the most valuable metals in the world, and its demand has been rising in recent years due to its use in jewelry, electronics, and as a safe-haven asset. According to the World Gold Council, global gold demand reached 3,759.6 tonnes in 2023, up 4% from 2022.


Saudi Arabia has a rich history of gold mining, dating back to the pre-Islamic era. The country has 13 operational gold mines and ranks 12th in the world in terms of gold reserves. The Public Investment Fund, which owns 67% of Maaden, operates several gold projects across the country and is the largest miner in the Gulf.


A Challenge for the Environment

While gold mining can bring economic benefits, it also poses environmental and social challenges. Gold mining requires large amounts of water and energy, and can generate waste and pollution that affect the health and livelihoods of nearby communities. Gold mining can also contribute to deforestation, biodiversity loss, and climate change.


Maaden said it was committed to operating responsibly and sustainably, and that it followed the highest international standards of environmental, social, and governance practices. Furthermore, the company said it used advanced technologies and processes to minimize its environmental impact and maximize its efficiency and productivity.


The company also said it invested in the development and well-being of its employees and the communities where it operates. Maaden said it provided training, education, and career opportunities for its workforce, and supported local businesses, infrastructure, and social initiatives.


The discovery of more gold in Saudi Arabia could be a sign of more opportunities and prosperity for the kingdom and its people. While the country strives to diversify its economy and achieve its vision, gold mining could play a key role in creating jobs, generating income, and enhancing competitiveness.


However, gold mining also comes with responsibilities and risks, and requires careful planning and management to ensure its long-term viability and sustainability. Maaden said it was aware of these challenges and was working to overcome them with innovation, collaboration, and excellence.


Hence, the company hoped to continue exploring and developing the potential of Saudi Arabia’s mineral resources and to contribute to the growth and development of the nation.


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