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Monday, January 30, 2023

Saudi Arabia emerges as a global mining hub, as Ma’aden announces major new ventures and strategic partnerships.

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“Ma’aden’s strategic investment in Ivanhoe Electric is a critically important moment in our journey to becoming a leading supplier of strategic minerals, which will fuel global economic growth over the coming decade. Through Ma’aden Saudi Arabia is making an invaluable contribution to fast-developing new industries across the world characterized by technological advancement.”

Robert Wilt,
Chief Executive Officer,


Last week, at the Future Minerals Forum 2023, the Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden) announced a major new venture with the Public Investment Fund (PIF). A new, jointly owned company will make significant investments internationally into upstream strategic minerals opportunities, securing value chains critical to industrial development and energy transition in the Kingdom.

Ma’aden has also signed strategic partnerships with leading mining companies, Ivanhoe Electric (IE) and Barrick Gold Corporation (Barrick) to develop globally significant strategic mineral resources in the Kingdom to fuel the development of the sector internationally. These agreements will play an important role in unlocking value from Ma’aden’s extensive exploration and development portfolio, expanding Ma’aden’s international reach, and bringing new skills and technology into the sector in Saudi Arabia.

Ma’aden has also signed more than 20 agreements and MOUs with globally leading organizations to increase exploration and technical capabilities in mining operations.

PIF and Ma’aden to establish a company to invest in strategic minerals internationally

At Future Minerals Forum 2023, Ma’aden and Public Investment Fund (PIF) announced the signing of an agreement to establish a new company to invest internationally into upstream strategic minerals opportunities.

The company will be incorporated after obtaining approvals from the relevant authorities and satisfying certain conditions of the JV agreement. Ma’aden will own 51% of the company, and PIF 49%. The company’s capital will amount to USD 50,000,000.00. The company aims to initially invest in iron ore, copper, nickel, and lithium as a non-operating partner taking minority equity positions. This will provide a physical offtake of critical minerals to ensure supply security for domestic mineral downstream sectors, and position Saudi Arabia as a key partner in achieving global supply-chain resilience.

Robert Wilt, CEO of Ma’aden, said, “This is a significant step for Ma’aden as we develop the mining sector in Saudi Arabia and position the Kingdom as a key ally in securing the metals of the future. The global energy transition relies on the strategic minerals needed for renewable energy and battery storage, and our focus on these will give us a foothold in the global commodity value chain, where major supply constraints are combined with growing demand.”

Yazeed Alhumied, Deputy Governor and Head of MENA Investments at PIF, said: “PIF and Ma’aden combine extensive investment expertise with deep sector knowledge. The new company will significantly contribute to strengthening Saudi Arabia’s strategic position as an important link in the global supply chain in line with PIF’s strategy to further grow key industries.”

Improving exploration capability through world-leading technology and expertise

Ma’aden also announced that it has entered into an agreement with Ivanhoe Electric that will give Ma’aden an increased international presence and access to cutting-edge exploration technology.

IE is an NYSE-listed technology and mineral exploration company that combines advanced mineral exploration technologies, renewable energy storage solutions, and electric metals projects. 

The agreement with IE will see Ma’aden subscribing to new shares in IE resulting in a 9.9% equity interest for $126 million. Ma’aden will obtain the right to appoint one independent director to the Ivanhoe Electric Board of Directors and will be issued with approximately 10.2 million new common shares in IE at a price of US$12.38 per share.

As part of the agreement, Ma’aden and IE will also establish a 50:50 joint venture to explore copper, gold, nickel, and silver in Saudi Arabia.  Ma’aden and Ivanhoe will explore approximately 48,500 km2 of selected license areas that demonstrate excellent potential. The joint venture will provide Ma’aden with access to IE’s proprietary Typhoon™  technology, which conducts geophysical surveys using high-powered transmitters to detect the presence of sulfide minerals containing copper, nickel, gold, and silver. This will help accelerate, de-risk, and advance exploration and development activities, enabling Ma’aden to realize value from its exploration assets.

This is a significant investment for Ma’aden giving its strategic presence in a leading international mining company with its own proprietary technology and increasing its international exposure to critical minerals.

Robert Wilt, CEO of Ma’aden commented: “Ma’aden’s strategic investment in Ivanhoe Electric is a critically important moment in our journey to becoming a leading supplier of strategic minerals, which will fuel global economic growth over the coming decade. Through Ma’aden Saudi Arabia is making an invaluable contribution to fast-developing new industries across the world characterized by technological advancement.”

Unlocking value from highly prospective copper licenses

Barrick Gold Corporation, a world leader in discovering and developing large-scale gold and copper mines, is strengthening its relationship with Ma’aden through two new joint venture agreements to explore and develop the Jabal Sayid South and Umm Ad Damar license areas. The close proximity of the new license areas to Jabal Sayid and the associated mine infrastructure will enable the partners to capture synergies between the three areas. 

This agreement will strengthen Ma’aden’s copper production and advance its strategic drive for job creation and economic development in remote areas of the country.

A pipeline of agreements to transform the capabilities of the Saudi mining industry

Ma’aden is also entered into more than 20 agreements and memorandums of understanding with a number of high-profile market-leading organizations to integrate new technologies and innovation into its exploration and mining operations. These will further reduce energy consumption, improve water and environmental management, advance decarbonization, and improved health and safety. Partners include companies such as Nokia, Shell, Bechtel, and Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) S.à r.l.

Robert Wilt, CEO of Ma’aden, commented: “By attracting new partners to Saudi Arabia and increasing the commitment of our existing partners, we are introducing new technologies into our operations, diversifying our upstream product mix, and accelerating the development of our exploration portfolio. This will create opportunities for knowledge and technology transfer that will deepen the talent pool in Saudi Arabia and open up new opportunities to develop the Kingdom’s abundant mineral resources.”

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