Ma’aden Working on Game-Changing Deals for Critical Minerals

In line with the move away from fossil fuels and to promote #GreenTransition, Saudi Arabia has launched a USD 15 billion fund to secure the access and to diversify the supply chain to #CriticalMinerals.

The Fund is a JV between the Saudi state mining company, Ma’aden, and the sovereign wealth fund, Public Investment Fund (PIF). The long-term objective is to prepare the Saudi economy for the Greener Future and smooth the way for the #EnergyTransition in progress. As the company with the most expertise in mining, Ma’aden is the controlling shareholder with a 51% stake while the remaining 49% goes to PIF. However, Saudi Arabia has a hard nut to crack in finding the right balance between its traditional ‘oil-ful’ and the new ‘oil-less’ economic model.

To jumpstart the JV, the Saudi government headhunted Tarmo Haehsen, former senior executive at Anglo-American, as the Chief Investment Officer. His mission is to invest in strategic mining resources; in particular, the #CriticalMinerals needed for Electric Vehicles (#EV), #PV Panels and Wind Turbines.

The investments will provide access to #CriticalMinerals to ensure supply security and resilience for domestic downstream sectors working on the #EnergyTransition. It is hoped that the initiative will position Saudi Arabia as a key partner in the green Global Supply Chain (#GSC).

“This is a significant step for Ma’aden as we develop the mining sector in Saudi Arabia and position the Kingdom as a key ally in securing the metals of the future. The global energy transition relies on the strategic minerals needed for renewable energy and battery storage, and our focus on these will give us a foothold in the global commodity value chain, where major supply constraints are combined with growing demand. We are proud to be playing a leading role in the economic diversification and growth of Saudi Arabia, building the talent pool and securing the future for the country, as we help deliver #Vision2030.”

Ma’aden CEO Robert Wilt

As one of the first moves, Ma’aden purchased a 9.9% stake in Ivanhoe Electric, a US mining company which applies high technology to explore for #CriticalMinerals. The deal was valued at USD 126 million and received the blessing of owner and mining tycoon Robert Friedland. Ma‘aden also signed another partnership agreement with Barrick, the world’s 2nd largest gold producer, to further develop the Jabal Sayid copper mine.

With the JV, it is envisaged that the new entity will have more firepower to close strategic deals in order to reach its goals. Thus, the JV went on to acquire 10% in Brazilian Vale, which the world’s largest iron ore producer.

Ma’aden Partners with Ivanhoe Electric to Enhance its Mining Exploration Capabilities

The JV revealed that it is in talks with DR Congo to invest in Cobalt, Tantalum and Copper via a new SPV called Manara Minerals. Currently, China controls the supply of Cobalt and #Lithium which are essential in the making of electric vehicles batteries, smartphones and computers.

During the recent Saudi-Arab-African Economic Conference (#SAAEC2023) held in Riyad, the Saudi Minister for Investment Khalid Al-Falih stated that a ‘game-changing deal’ for #CriticalMinerals will be announced soon.