Saudi Arabia is a nation renowned for its huge oil reserves, but it also boasts sizable gold deposits. The famed Gold Mountains, also known as Mahd Al-Dhahab, which have been a source of prosperity for the nation for ages, are one of the sites where the kingdom’s gold treasures are dispersed.
History of Gold Mining in Saudi Arabia
In the past, the Egyptians mined gold from the Red Sea shore, beginning the history of gold mining in Saudi Arabia. The area that is now Saudi Arabia was renowned for its gold deposits, and gold mining was a prominent business in the area throughout the Ottoman Empire.
The Arabian American Oil Corporation (ARAMCO) started investigating the kingdom’s potential for oil in the early 20th century. The focus during this time period changed from gold mining to oil prospecting. Yet in the 1980s, the Saudi Arabian government took action to resurrect the nation’s gold mining sector.
Gold Reserves in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia holds the 17th-largest amount of gold reserves in the world, with an estimated 323.5 tonnes of reserves. Keeping the gold reserves is the responsibility of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), which acts as the nation’s central bank.
Gold bars and coins are only a couple of the several ways that SAMA keeps its gold reserves. Gold bars owned by SAMA are normally 400 ounce bars, while gold coins are commonly in denominations of 1 ounce and 1/2 ounce.
Gold Mining in Saudi Arabia
The Mahd Al-Dhahab area, sometimes referred to as the “Cradle of Gold,” is where most of Saudi Arabia’s gold mining takes place. The Mahd Al-Dhahab mine, one of the world’s oldest gold mines, is situated in the country’s western region.
Geologists originally identified the Mahd Al-Dhahab mine in the 1930s, and the Saudi Arabian government gave American corporation Bechtel mining licences in 1939. Nonetheless, the mine has been managed by the Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden) since 1967, when it was designated a state asset.
One of the biggest gold mines in the world, the Mahd Al-Dhahab mine is thought to have a gold resource of over 4 million ounces. Averaging 180,000 ounces of gold and 600,000 ounces of silver each year, the mine produces both gold and silver.
Gold Mountains in Saudi Arabia
The Gold Mountains, also known as Mahd Al-Dhahab, are a group of hills in western Saudi Arabia, close to Medina. Rich gold reserves in the hills have been mined for many years and are well recognised for them.
The ancient gold mines of the Kingdom of Sheba are allegedly located in the Gold Mountains. It was visited by King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba in the Bible. Several sources claim that the Solomonic Temple in Jerusalem was decorated with gold from these mines.
Significant gold mining has taken place in the Gold Mountains in recent years, with the biggest and most well-known mine being the Mahd Al-Dhahab mine. Ma’aden runs the Mahd Al-Dhahab mine, which is situated in the centre of the Gold Mountains.
Other Gold Deposits in Saudi Arabia
Other than the Gold Mountains, Saudi Arabia has seen the discovery of several more gold resources.
One of these is the Al Amar mine, which is located in the Ar Riyadh province. The Bulghah mine, located in the Al Madinah province, is an additional.
Around 1 million ounces of gold are thought to be in the Al Amar mine’s reserve, while 1.4 million ounces are thought to be in the Bulghah mine’s reserve. Both mines are under Ma’aden’s management.
A few further minor gold discoveries may be found all across the nation, including in the Eastern Province and the Northern Border District.
These deposits are often smaller than the Mahd Al-Dhahab mine and other significant gold discoveries in the nation.
Saudi Arabia’s gold mining industry’s future
The mining sector in Saudi Arabia, which includes the gold mining sector, has made measures to develop.
The government launched a new mining policy in 2019 with the intention of increasing mining’s contribution to the GDP of the nation.
The new mining strategy aims to boost output of gold and other minerals while also luring in more foreign capital for the mining industry. A new regulatory framework for the mining industry has also been proposed by the government, and it is anticipated that this would give investors more certainty and transparency.
Saudi Arabia is looking at additional potential in the mining business in addition to fostering the growth of the gold mining industry. Other minerals, such as copper, zinc, and phosphate, have sizable deposits in the nation, and these resources are also being developed by the government.