ASX-listed metals explorer and developer Alara Resources is hopeful that it will return to Saudi Arabia, announcing on Monday that it had formed a joint venture (JV) to bid for the award of a 353 km2 exploration licence that includes the company’s former Khnaiguiyah zinc/copper project.
Alara holds a 51% interest in the JV, while construction business Al Tasnim holds the balance.
Alara subsidiary Alara Saudi Ventures qualified in March along with seven other bidders, out of 24 total applicants, to participate in the final round of an auction process for the licence award carried out by Saudi Arabia‘s Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources (MIMR).
“The mining industry in Saudi Arabia is now receiving unprecedented support from the government through the MIMR. Transparent regulations and guidelines implemented by the Ministry are expected to receive favourable attention from various local and international investors to partner with the government’s Saudi 2030 Vision. Alara is set for a return to Saudi Arabia,” Alara Saudi Arabia country manager Fadi Zenaty said.
Based on Alara’s previous knowledge and experience of the area, the JV is preparing a competitive bid with a team of experienced mining and exploration professionals. The bid involves submitting a programme for development of mining and processing infrastructure at the previously explored Khnaiguiyah zinc/copper deposit, and a proposal for the efficient exploration and development of the remainder of the licence area.
“Alara is . . . well on its way to implementing its transition from minerals explorer to a mining producer in the region,” Alara chairperson Stephen Gethin said.
The award of the licence is expected to be announced in mid-August.