Saudi Ministry of Industry offers 4 exploration licenses for salt ore in Eastern Province

 Salt ore exploration in the Ras Al-Qaryah complex in the Eastern Province is set to benefit from an initiative launched by the Saudi Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources. The ministry has announced the tendering of four licenses for exploration activities in the area, as per an official statement.

This initiative aligns with the government's strategic objective of discovering and utilizing the Kingdom's mineral resources while maximizing returns. The ministry disclosed that the total area allocated for competition across the four sites is 5 square kilometers.

The Ras Al-Qaryah complex, situated approximately 4 kilometers inland from the sea, features naturally exposed salt ore in specific locations on its surface. This area is classified as a coastal sabkha, characterized by the accumulation of evaporite-saline minerals due to a semiarid to arid climate.

Salt ore is stratified within the sabkha area, with previous geological surveys indicating salt deposits up to 5 meters thick in certain zones. Notably, the salt raw material in the sabkha is well-suited for industrial applications, supporting sectors such as manufacturing, petrochemicals, and the production of high-purity refined table salt.

Interested parties can submit applications for the exploration licenses via the Taadeen platform until April 18. The tender process will progress through four stages, including meeting qualification criteria, announcing qualified bidders, initiating the bidding process for the sites, and ultimately announcing the successful bidders and winning companies.

Recent data from the ministry indicates a significant uptick in Saudi Arabia's mining sector, with a 138 percent increase in the issuance of exploitation licenses since the enactment of the new investment law in 2021. The number of permits granted surged from eight in 2021 to 19 last year, reflecting the ministry's proactive efforts to boost mineral production and attract investment in the sector.

This strategic shift is part of the Kingdom's broader initiative to position mining as a foundational pillar of its industrial landscape. Saudi Arabia's mineral reserves are estimated to be valued at SR9.4 trillion ($2.4 trillion), underscoring the immense potential and importance of the sector.

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