As Saudi Arabia continues to strive to meet the ambitions laid out in Saudi Vision 2030, economic diversification remains a key objective. The countrys mining sector, which grew 6.3% in the first quarter of 2018, offers rich potential for those looking to develop non-oil revenues including overseas investors.
Gold, bauxite, phosphate and copper are each abundant in Saudi Arabia. The countrys Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources (MEIMR) estimates its mineral wealth at US$ 1.3 trillion, with gold reserves alone of US$ 240 billion. By 2030, it aims to have increased the mining sector from US$ 17 billion today to US$ 64 billion.
At the heart of this surging industry sits Abdul Latif Jameel Machinery, a leading provider of commercial vehicles and industrial and heavy equipment from global brands including Komatsu, Manitou, Teksan and Toyota Industrial Equipment.
Opening Doors spoke to M. Arif Chishti, Managing Director of Abdul Latif Jameel Machinery, to find out more about Saudi Arabias mining sector and how Abdul Latif Jameel Machinery can help to attract and facilitate the necessary private investment to ensure minings success over the coming decade.
Vision 2030 is very clear and committed towards opening this sector and bringing in international contractors with specialist skills. Saudi Arabia has always been rich in minerals, but its still relatively untapped despite the countrys vast resources. With this in mind, quadrupling the size of the mining sector is actually not too ambitious. One of the key elements will be private investment from international companies with mining expertise. These companies have been warmly welcomed, and this kind of private-public partnership is perfectly in line with Vision 2030.
The Government started to increase focus in the mining sector around seven years ago, inviting international contractors to compete on major tenders. Since then, seven international companies have started work on four large projects covering gold, phosphate and bauxite. Based on the information weve got from surveys so far, phosphate which is used a lot in the fertilizer sector and bauxite are the main two minerals in Saudi Arabia. Five years ago, a gold mine contract was awarded, and Abdul Latif Jameel Machinery is a key equipment supplier on that mine. Then two years ago, a phosphate mine contract was awarded, and Abdul Latif Jameel Machinery is a key equipment supplier on the project. On both these projects, Abdul Latif Jameel Machinery provides on-site parts and workshop facilities
The international contractors investing in Saudi Arabia expect a certain level of service, and they expect it 24/7. Mining is not a straight-shift operation. Generally, equipment works for the best part of 18 hours each day, so the contractors need suppliers that can support those operations. Were very strong in that area. We provide an end-to-end service that enables our customers to focus on their own areas of expertise, while we look after all their equipment and operational issues. In at least two cases, weve been told by the contractor that our standards are equal to, if not better than, those they are accustomed to in more advanced mining markets.
First and foremost, were able to conduct reconnaissance surveys on site, and then recommend the best possible fleet for that situation, using computer simulations and scenario reporting. Thats our more consultative approach. We can also help to source funding through our partners in different leasing companies, which is well received by contractors as it helps them to spread risk. Finally, we can help international companies to limit their expenditure by providing them with on-site workshops, parts warehouses and skilled technicians. We will hire the skilled technicians and in effect run a whole dealer operation at the site, which increases the uptime by eliminating some of the delays youd otherwise experience simply because Saudi Arabia is such a large country with so much travel time. Its a total wraparound service. Were able to provide, service vans, construction equipment and generators for each project, making it easier for the contractor as they only deal with one professional supplier.
We have training programs for both employees and non-employees (apprentices) at the Abdul Latif Jameel Machinery Training Center. Heavy machinery, and specifically mining, is a specialized industry. A lot of the machinery is very hi-tech. Were talking about the likes of Internet of Things and drone technology just to complete mine layouts. But as well as technical skills, weve also got to consider the physical health of a person and train them fully in health and safety. If you work in a mine and dont know the safety principles, it could cost you your life.
When were recruiting, we first look at a persons health and physical competence. Can they work in extreme temperatures as high as 50 degrees Celsius or as low as 5 degrees Celsius, Do they have allergies that would make them unable to cope with the high air pollutants present at most sites? After that, we train them on the technical skills. This is practical knowledge taught in our Training Center, rather than textbook learning. Furthermore, we also train our customers own operators and they could be from anywhere in the world.
The brands weve selected, such as Komatsu Construction Equipment, Manitou material handlers, and Teksan generators, are leaders in their sectors. What sets us apart is the aftersales service we provide. So, by only working with the worlds leading manufacturers, and building on that with the Abdul Latif Jameel philosophy, were able to deliver a truly best-in-class service.
A typical mine might last for at least 25 years . So, while there is an immediate and direct growth in revenue with a new mine, over time it also acts as a catalyst and leads to indirect benefits in other areas. For example, local companies that provide ancillary products and services to these sites. Over the medium term, the benefits and growth are in the overall package, which will develop local companies, raise industry standards, and provide more jobs to Saudi Arabian nationals.
We want to cement our position as the preferred partner in the mining sector, because thats where our value addition can really be felt whether its through site simulation studies, or on-site services, workshops and parts. Beyond mining, we are also starting to move into transportation. Coaches that we now supply, are involved in religious tourism, carrying pilgrims visiting Makkah and Medina. In spite of the challenging economic times, a company like ours is here to stay and thats what our clients need.
A new low-cost handheld device that tests the quality and safety of milk is being developed by the Abdul Latif Jameel World Water and Food Security Lab (J-WAFS) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). MIT mechanical engineering PhD candidate visited milk collection centers in Maharashtra, India, and discussed collection practices with dairy farmers and center operators during a 2017 research trip. J-WAFS-funded technology being developed by Jain in mechanical engineering professor Sanjay Sarmas MIT lab will allow users at village-level milk collection centers like the one pictured to easily test milk for quality and nutritional consistency on site. Image courtesy of Pranay Jain
A new low-cost handheld device that tests the quality and safety of milk is being developed by the Abdul Latif Jameel World Water and Food Security Lab (J-WAFS) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
MIT mechanical engineering PhD candidate visited milk collection centers in Maharashtra, India, and discussed collection practices with dairy farmers and center operators during a 2017 research trip. J-WAFS-funded technology being developed by Jain in mechanical engineering professor Sanjay Sarmas MIT lab will allow users at village-level milk collection centers like the one pictured to easily test milk for quality and nutritional consistency on site.
Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV), part of Abdul Latif Jameel Energy, has been awarded a 55 MWac solar project in Armenia that will power more than 21,400 homes in Armenia with clean energy. Tristan Higuero, COO East, meets Armenian Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan.
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The Mining Investment Law aims to attract foreign investors to the sector and boost the largely untapped mineral industry in Saudi Arabia as part of the Vision 2030 reform plan to have a mining sector contributing to the national economy at full potential. Currently, Maaden is the Kingdoms largest mining company. Maaden was wholly owned by the Saudi Government until 2008 when half its shares were floated on the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul). In June 2018, the government holding went up with the Public Investment Fund (PIF) increasing its shareholding to 65.44 per cent. Historically, Maaden has been active in producing gold and copper and has in recent years expanded into the production of aluminium and phosphates.
According to reports, the Saudi government is aiming to release more concessions for mining and quarrying to private firms in order to unlock the Kingdoms estimated SR5 trillion in mineral deposits. The landscape, therefore, remains open for other mining companies to take advantage of the significant opportunities that exist in the Kingdoms mining sector.
Saudi Arabia has significant and diverse metallic mineral resources spread across the Kingdom. To date, over 48 minerals have been identified in the Kingdom, with at least 15 minerals that are of commercially viable quantities. At present, the Kingdoms demand for mineral products exceeds local supply leading to a large amount of imported resources. In addition, the country is going through economic and industrial growth, leading to significant increase in demand for such products to serve key growing sectors (for example, oil and gas, construction, equipment, automotive). This large demand, coupled with the abundance of resources in Saudi soil, creates and leads to significant investment opportunities and value chain integration.
Over the last two decades, the regulatory environment has taken real strides forward in an effort to encourage participation and investment in the mining industry. In 2004, Saudi took a major step towards liberalising its mining and mineral resources law by adopting the revised Mining Code and the Mineral Resources Executive Regulation. While the Mining Code reflected a significant attempt to open up the mining sector to private investment in the, many believed that more could be done to clarify and enhance mining sector regulations to provide foreign investors with greater access certainty.
Under the Mining Investment Law any natural or legal person, whether Saudi or non-Saudi may apply for the licenses (although foreigners are also subject to the foreign investment licencing requirements administered by the Ministry of Investment (formerly, the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority)).
The Mining Investment Law excludes certain minerals and materials from the ambit of the law, such as hydrocarbon substances and sediments (excluding coal), for example oil and natural gas, pearls, corals and similar marine materials. In addition, mining activities may only be carried out on state-owned lands or privately owned lands, or property held by the state and partly by individuals or marine areas, but not lands occupied by holy places or the military (unless permission is granted by a decision issued by the competent minister) and lands and marine areas to be determined by a Cabinet decision. The Mining Investment Law also sets out procedures that the licensee must follow where there are overlapping exploration or exploitation licenses for the same land (or a part thereof), or where the land (or part of it) is privately owned under a legal title deed.
The Mining Investment Law provides that all natural deposits, in whatever form or composition, whether in the soil or subsoil, onshore or offshore, are considered the exclusive property of the Kingdom. Subject to the provisions of the Mining Investment Law, an exploitation licence enables its holder to obtain title to minerals extracted within the licence area for the duration of the licence.
The Mining Investment Law is administered by the MOIMR, which will be issuing the decisions and implementing regulations for the Mining Investment Law (the Implementing Regulations). The Implementing Regulations will further elaborate the provisions of the Mining Investment Law providing regulation at a granular level. No timeframe for issuing the Implementation Regulations has been set.
The Mining Investment Law mandates the MOIMR to establish a permanent committee, to be formed under the chairmanship of the Minister of the MOIMR, which will include at least fifteen representatives from the Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Interior and other key government entities. The committee decides on objections filed by government agencies, including applications for the allocation of areas of mining complexes. This is a positive step in ensuring that the key government stakeholders are actively engaged and working in partnership with the MOIMR to support, promote and improve procedures under the Mining Investment Law.
Under the Mining Investment Law, in addition to a Register of Applications and Register of Licences, the MOIMR is also required to establish a Register of Mineral Zones which includes details of the mineral formations and mining reserve areas. All registers will be made available to the public.
All applications for obtaining, renewing, extending, transferring or giving away all or part of the licence site must be submitted to the MOIMR via the forms and procedures which are expected to be specified in the Implementing Regulations. It is imperative that the applicant has the technical competence and financial ability according to the type of licence required, to enable them to perform their obligations effectively, to be determined by the Implementing Regulations.
During the licence period, the terms and conditions of the licence may not be amended except at the request of the licencee and approval from the MOIMR. In addition, licence applications may not be rejected by the MOIMR unless there are clear grounds for doing so, which must be evidenced in writing. An applicant whose request has been rejected may file a grievance against such a decision before the Saudi Administrative Court.
There are seven types of non-exploitation/exploration and exploitation related mining licences that exist under the Mining Investment Law, with licencees having the right to hold multiple licencees. With the exception of reconnaissance licences, all other licences under the Mining Investment Law may only be granted to a legal person. Subject to certain exceptions, it is not permissible for any natural/legal person (as the case may be) to carry out any reconnaissance, exploration or exploitation work before obtaining a licence from the MOIMR.
The MOIMR may grant an exploration or exploitation licence for lands for public utilities and areas designated (according to a specific law) as tourist, archaeological, historical or wildlife reserves only after obtaining the necessary approvals and permits from the relevant government entities.
Grants the licencee the right to engage in the search for licenced minerals and take sample from the licence area in addition to the exclusive right to explore for all minerals specified in the licence, using geological, geophysical or geochemical methods, excavation or any other appropriate method.
An area not exceeding 100 sq km and a period not exceeding five years (renewal possible for a period not exceeding five years subject to certain requirements) with regard to minerals of classes (A) and (B).
Issued for an initial duration of up to 30 years (renewal possible for up to 30 years subject to certain requirements); licence area must not exceed 50 sq km; licence will be limited to minerals of classes (A) and (B). In the event the licencee wishes to exploit class (C) minerals, they must file an application with the MOIMR and pay a fee.
Issued for an initial duration of up to 10 years (renewal possible for a period or periods not exceeding 5 years each, subject to certain requirements); licence area shall not exceed 1 sq km; licence is limited to class (C) minerals.
If the holder of an exploitation licence wishes to establish facilities or use lands outside the licence area to achieve the objectives of the licence, the licencee must submit an application to the MOIMR to obtain a General Purpose licence.
Subject to the provisions of the Sharia and relevant laws and with the exception of the reconnaissance licence, the licencee may mortgage the rights conferred by the licence. The mortgage will be valid only after the licencee is notified by the MOIMR of its registration in the licence register. The mortgagee or their representative will have the right to implement any mortgaged right under the licence and transfer any such rights, provided that the requirements under clauses 16 and 20 of the Mining Investment Law are met.
Exploration and exploitation licences are transferrable to third-parties in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Mining Investment Law. An exploration licence may not be transferred whether directly or indirectly, during the first year from the beginning of its period. For such a transfer of licence to be effective, it must take place in the manner to be prescribed by the Implementing Regulations and the transfer will only be valid until a decision has been issued by the MOIMR to this effect.
The Mining Investment Law reflects a contemporary approach to the mining sector in the Kingdom and in our view will encourage more mining and exploration programs from outside or within the Kingdom. The new laws licencing processes are investor friendly and more in line with industry standards.
In recent years, there has been quite a long development and economic growth in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on account of heavy-duty vehicles and mega plant machinery. From excavators to wheel loaders, from bulldozers to backhoe loaders, from dump trucks to dump trailers and from roller compactors to skidders, all other vehicles and tools have played a considerable role in the development and economic growth across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Although these vehicles are bit expensive, but they are very useful for the construction companies in the Kingdom, along with agriculture and educational and transportation sectors.
Not only this, heavy equipment or machinery is very effective for ready mix concrete and cement industry in Saudi Arabia. This is the reason why so there is a great demand of heavy vehicles in ready-mixed concrete industry nowadays. Many concrete and cement companies are utilizing heavy equipment for their own business purposes, including asphalt pavers, cold planers, pneumatic rollers, vibratory compactors, static smooth drum rollers and vibratory smooth drum rollers, etc. Then there is a great demand of forestry equipment in the forestry industry, including harvester, forwarder, log loader, skidder and feller Buncher. Not only, mining industry also requires heavy equipment regularly, involving crawler tractor, shovel, wheel dozer, wheel loader and rock truck.
On the other hand, agriculture sector is making use of various kinds of heavy duty vehicles and tools such as 2WD tractor, 4WD tractor, air drill, baler, disc, Swather, sprayer, cultivator and many other equipments. Then you can find lifting and material handling equipment in Saudi Arabias top sites. But if you are an established heavy equipment supplier, company or contractor and you want to advertise your products in Saudi Arabia, feel free to contact with Saudi Equipment to post your free classified ads.