Saudi Arabia bolstering mining law penalties: report

An Arabic news outlet is reporting that Saudi Arabian regulators have enacted strong guidelines for mining in the country, including imprisonment of up to two years for those who break the laws.

A Zawya report said on 17 October, citing daily outlet Aleqtisadia that quoted the Arabic Industry and Mineral Resources Ministry, that teams will be sent regularly to mine sites to ensure compliance and prevent fraud.

“Those who are found to be abusing the mine investment law by exploiting mine sites and selling products illegally will be jailed for up to two years or fined one million Saudi riyals ($266,000),” the report added, noting that penalties could be increased for repeated offences by the same individual.

The rules, aimed to protect mineral wealth, will be enforced alongside laws first put into place two years ago to attract domestic and foreign capital for the mining sector, Zawya said.

Saudi Arabia has issued hundreds permits for mining activities in line with the new law; in fact, 52 were issued in August alone, the ministry reported to local outlets. The Saudi minerals industry is said to be valued at five trillion riyals, or $266 billion.