Apr 30, 2019
The Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma'aden) has announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Ma'aden Gold and Base Metals Company, has issued a Notice of Award to Outotec and Larsen&Toubro Consortium to complete the engineering, procurement, construction, pre-commissioning, commissioning and start-up assistance of the Mansourah & Massarah Project. The project also includes training services to develop national cadres on project engineering, operations and maintenance. The Mansourah & Massarah mines, processing plant and associated infrastructure will be located in the Central Arabian Gold Region, one of the richest geological areas in the Kingdom and are due to be completed in 2022.
The Mansourah & Massarah project will become the company’s largest ever gold project, producing an average of 250,000 ounces of gold per year over the life of mine. Total investment in the mine is expected to reach SAR 3.3 billion (USD 880 million).
The processing plant will be capable of processing up to four million tonnes per annum of the complex refractory ores contained in the deposit – the first time such ores have been mined and processed in the Middle East.
Ma’aden continues to pursue attractive growth opportunities in the Kingdom and the Mansourah & Massarah project represents a major step for Ma’aden not only because this will be our largest ever gold mine but also due to the technical complexity involved in processing this type of ore deposit.
"Mansourah & Massarah deposit are purely Ma’aden sole discovery where no previous work have been implemented in that area by any previous mission and we are proud of this project which was discovered through the activities of the Ma'aden Exploration Team, which carries out extensive mining exploration programs, as announced earlier this year," said Darren Davis, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Executive Officer of Maaden.
"This project is an important element of our strategy to increase our gold production to one million ounces a year. Our continued growth in the Kingdom will create many direct and indirect job opportunities in the Saudi economy and contribute to the development of communities around our operational areas.”
Sustainability is a key element of this project, as in other Ma'aden investments. This project will be the first in the Kingdom to utilize solar power as an energy source. The project will also benefit from the treated wastewater through a 430 km pipeline from the municipality of Al Ta’if to the remote and water scarce region where the mine will be located.
Ma’aden operates six gold mines in western Saudi Arabia, including the Ad Duwayhi mine which achieved commercial production in 2017 and which produced 275,000 ounces in 2018. Ma’aden plans to spend 295 million Riyals ($67 million) on new exploration concessions in 2019, marking a three-fold increase in its investment commitment on previous years. It has also launched an Accelerated Exploration Program to shorten the time needed to move new discoveries into development.
Ma’aden’s Gold and Base Metals Company (MGBM), manages the production and sale of Ma’aden’s gold, copper, silver and zinc, with gold accounting for the biggest segment. Gold was the first commodity mined by Ma’aden and provided the foundation of the company’s subsequent growth and diversification.
MGBM produced 415,000 ounces of the precious metal in 2018 and aims to increase this to 1 million ounces a year under Ma’aden’s 2025 strategy.