The Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources of Saudi Arabia has announced the launch of additional severe penalties for violations of the mining investment system, whether it is illegal exploitation of deposits or drilling for the purpose of finding minerals.
Ahmed Fakih, Deputy Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources for Mining Enforcement and Control, said in an interview with Al-Arabiya that the decision aims to regulate the mining sector in the Kingdom and eliminate bad practices that are criminalized.
He explained that the fines for violations of the mining investment system include two parts: the first is the illegal exploitation of mineral deposits, the second is excavation and the discovery of class A ores, which include copper, zinc, lead and phosphate, which is a crime that deserves punishment. .
He added that penalties for violating the mining investment law include a fine of one million riyals or two years in prison, or both.
He noted that the decision is aimed at improving the investment environment in the mining industry, ensuring the rights of investors and the state to extract minerals, as well as eliminating violations and dishonest actions in the industry.
According to the industry, the decision applies to all public deposits such as ordinary sand, gravel materials, landfill materials, granite and industrial ores, in addition to gold, silver, copper, zinc, lead, iron ore and precious stones.
A royal decree was issued to add a new article to the mining investment system, which includes new penalties that amount to imprisonment for up to two years and a fine of up to one million rials.
In October last year, the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources conducted more than 700 inspections and imposed more than 100 fines on objects that violate the law on investments in subsoil use.