Saudi Arabia’s Gold Miner Plans to Be a Global Top-20 Supplier – by Abbas Al Lawati and Donna Abu-Nasr (Bloomberg News – April 3, 2019)

Saudi Arabian Mining Co. wants to more than double gold output within five years. Maaden, as the state-backed company is known, plans to boost gold output from about 415,000 ounces this year to one million by 2025, Chief Executive Officer Darren Davis said in an interview.

That would catapult the oil-rich kingdom from a marginal gold producer to one of the world’s top-20 suppliers.

Gold demand is rising as U.S.-China trade tensions and fear of a recession persist. With declining prices of some commodities including aluminum, which generated 40 percent of Maaden’s revenue last year, the company may be counting on the precious metal’s allure as a safe-haven investment to soften the hit.

“Global tensions have an impact on gold — in a positive way,” Davis said. Saudi Arabia plans to spend more than $7.4 billion exploring for metals and minerals by 2035, part of a $426 billion infrastructure spending plan that in part seeks to exploit what could be $1.3 trillion in resources.

Maaden will boost its exploration budget to 250 million Saudi riyals ($66.7 million) this year, about triple its average annual spending over the past decade, Davis said. The company will focus on gold, copper and zinc.

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