Saudi Maaden invests in Ivanhoe, establishes joint venture to explore mineral sites

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Saudi Arabia’s mining company Maaden has signed an agreement with Ivanhoe Electric to establish a local joint venture that will explore mineral sites in the Kingdom.

Maaden will buy 9.9 percent of Ivanhoe shares and establish a 50/50 exploration joint venture in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday.

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That amounts to 10.2 million shares for $126.5 million with a top-up option to maintain its 9.9 percent ownership. At least $66 million will be allocated and invested to establish and operate the joint exploration.

The joint agreement will give Maaden the rights to use Ivanhoe’s geophysical surveying technology, Typhoon, which is expected to accelerate the exploration of mineral sites in the Kingdom, valued at $1.3 trillion in minerals, according to the SPA report.

The tech involves geophysical surveys and 3D data processing, and the deal includes the acquisition of three new-generation Typhoon machines. Maaden will also appoint a member to the board of directors of Ivanhoe.

The venture will conduct exploration operations on an area estimated at 48,500 square kilometers of licensed sites in the Kingdom, an area larger than the size of Denmark.

It will target the extraction of copper, nickel, gold, silver, and “other strategic minerals,” SPA reported.

“This step will contribute to strengthening Saudi Vision 2030, which places mining as a third pillar of the Saudi economy. It is also considered a key supporter of Maaden’s ambitious strategy, which aims to boost its growth by 10 folds by 2040 and to exploit the mineral resources in the Kingdom,” the report added.

“Maaden is working on one of the largest mining exploration programs in the world in partnership with Ivanhoe Electric, and this agreement is an important breakthrough to explore the potential mineral resources in the Kingdom,” Maaden CEO Robert Wilt said.

“Therefore, we need to carry out survey and exploration activities in faster and smarter ways, and cover more ground to meet our long-term growth objectives, which will be enabled by the Typhoon technology.”

Maaden will receive funds to accelerate its Phosphate 3 project in Wa’ad Al Shamal as part of the Shareek program announced in March. It is set to position the company as the third-largest global producer of phosphate fertilizers by 2029. This project hopes to enhance the Kingdom’s position in the world’s agricultural value chain, aiding global food security.

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