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 Saudi Arabia Selects Preferred Bidder for Exploration of Jabal Sahabiyah Region


Saudi Arabia Selects Preferred Bidder for Exploration of Jabal Sahabiyah Region

A joint venture of Royal Road Minerals Limited and MSB Holdings Limited have been awarded the preferred bidder status in a competitive Licensing Round for the Jabal Sahabiyah Exploration License which is located in Asir Province in Saudi Arabia.

The Jabal Sahabiyah Exploration License will be granted to Royal Road Arabia and MSB Holding’s 50-50 joint-venture vehicle, subject to the payment of a performance financial guarantee, to be agreed with MIMR, and the satisfaction of certain legal and regulatory requirements.

The license will have an initial term of 5 years, with an option to renew every further 5 years for a total of 15 years. RRA has committed to minimum expenditure of $5.5 million, over the first 5 years. Expenditure is success dependent subject to surrender of the performance guarantee.

The licensing round was announced by the Saudi Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources in early 2023 with a site-visit to be concluded and proposals to be submitted by August of that year. Submissions were appraised on merit and required the preferred bidder to demonstrate skill-relevant and suitably qualified management and technical personnel, access to sufficient resources and to prove high-level performance and a commitment to the principles of sustainability.

Specific assessment criteria included such aspects as proposed exploration work program, exploration spend, technical expertise and social impact management plan.

Home to Several Minerals

The Jabal Sahabiyah Exploration License is approximately 284 sq km in area and was discovered as a result of regional mapping by Riofinex Ltd in the late 1970s. The prospect is located in the highly prospective Nabitah-Tathlith belt (see Figure 1) and consists of copper-zinc-lead mineralized gossans and vein-gold occurrences hosted in greenschist and amphibolite facies meta-sedimentary and granitoid rocks.

Twenty shallow percussion drill holes (totalling 617.5 m) were drilled into one of the gossan occurrences by Riofinex Ltd with best results including drillhole JM4; 14m at 0.6% Copper and 5.1% Zinc from surface and drillhole JM3; 6.5m @ 0.9% Copper, and 0.6% Zinc from surface.

Dr Tim Coughlin, Royal Road’s President and CEO said that over 40 years have lapsed since exploration work was conducted at the prospect area and ore deposit studies, surface and subsurface exploration techniques have advanced significantly over that period.

Royal Road will deploy its own drone-borne hyper-spectral scanner, gamma ray spectrometer and magnetometer and expect to have teams on the ground, mapping and sampling at Jabal Sahabiyah imminently, he said.

“Our efforts at the prospect-scale will not detract from ongoing target generation and reconnaissance exploration activities which we are conducting at-pace and intensity, country-wide, across Saudi Arabia. These operations have already resulted in the identification of new prospect areas and the submission of promising exploration license applications. Saudi Arabia is promoting an exciting new vision for mining and exploration, and we are proud to play an integral part in this truly transformational process,” Tim added.

Tareq Telmesani, CEO of MSB Holdings Group and Chairman of Royal Road Arabia, said that their team has been working hard to bring this opportunity to fruition, and his company was grateful to the MIMR for its recognition of their capabilities and expertise.

“Saudi Arabia’s vision for the mining sector is world-leading, and it is an honour for our organisation to be at the forefront of mineral exploration at this exciting time. We believe this will be the first of many opportunities for Royal Road Arabia, and we will continue to strive to utilise all of our resources and expertise to ensure we are an integral part of the mining sector in the Kingdom,” Tareq added.

Global Business Magazine

Global Business Magazine

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