Working With Nature

Bmr Geologist was contracted by the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources (MIM) to provide technical assistance in the promotion of three mineral exploration projects in KSA that the MIM wished to license via an international auction process.

The first of these, the Khnaiguiyah Project, is an advanced-stage Zn-Cu project 170km SW of Riyadh. Zinc-rich mineralisation was first discovered close to the edge of the Arabian Shield in 1966 and explored by BRGM over the next three decades, including over 34,000m of drilling, culminating in a Prefeasibility Study published in 1991. An additional 27,000m of drilling from 1997 by a private company improved the definition of two of the four known mineralised zones, but the project was relinquished in 2003 due to market conditions. A Saudi company produced a feasibility study supporting a mining licence application in 2010, and then formed a joint venture with Australian explorer Alara Resources. Some 36,000m of additional drilling led to reporting of mineral reserves in a Definitive Feasibility Study in compliance with the JORC Code (2004) in 2013. The mineral rights to the project have been unassigned since 2015.

The Umm ad Damar Project comprises numerous base metal (Cu-Zn-Au-Ag) occurrences and ancient workings found 25km NW of the Ma’aden Mahd adh Dahab gold mine, and 20km SE of the Barrick-Ma’aden Jabal Sayid copper mine. Exploration work has been conducted by various organisations since the 1960s, and included extensive ground geophysics, trenching and over 40 diamond core holes across the multiple prospect areas.

The Muhaddad Project is an early-stage base metals (Cu-Pb-Zn) project that lies 35km SE of Bishah, at the southern end of the Bishah Volcanic Belt in southern KSA. Ancient workings have exploited discontinuous pods and lenses of narrow base metal mineralisation over a strike length of >900m. Reconnaissance work by Riofinex (1979-80) mapped the occurrences and identified geophysical anomalies that were followed up with more detailed exploration by BRGM (1994-96).

SRK Exploration started the technical assistance for all three projects with a comprehensive collation and review of all historical data. Verification sampling of historical drill core was undertaken in collaboration with the Saudi Geological Survey (SGS), who also completed a 11-hole diamond core twin drilling programme at Khnaiguiyah to provide confidence in historical grade intercepts.

The production of an Independent Technical Report (ITR) for Khnaiguiyah required evaluation of historical prefeasibility and feasibility studies. This was undertaken by a multidisciplinary team from SRK UK.

The final ITRs were delivered to MIM who then shared these with the parties interested in the licence auctions, via online data rooms. These contained all catalogued historical data and summary 3D geological Leapfrog models for each project. SRK Exploration additionally provided independent advice to the MIM and its affiliates on the auction process and contribution to marketing materials for each project