Ma’aden, officially known as the Saudi Arabian Mining Company, was created in 1997 by the Saudi government in order to fully exploit the rich mineral resources within the country. Based in Riyadh, the Ma’aden has a number of subsidiary offices around the country.
For its first 11 years of its existence, the firm was owned exclusively by the government before stock that comprised 50 percent of the company was offered on Tadawul, the country’s stock exchange.
The commodity projects that Ma’aden has undertaken involve those seeking gold, aluminum and phosphate. One of the by-products of these minerals, diammonium phosphate (DAP) has a collective market of $15 billion, with Ma’aden having eight percent of the market share. It also has a small sliver (one percent) of the $90 billion market that makes up the aluminum industry.
Exploration into acquiring reserves of bauxite, which is necessary in the making of aluminum, continues. In addition, other commodities like copper and uranium are on the country’s list of sought-after minerals. However, aluminum still brings in the most revenue.
Throughout this period, the continued development of Saudi Arabia’s infrastructure capabilities has allowed these minerals to be transported from their remote origins to the marketplace. Railways have served as an invaluable outlet in this area, though other projects like paved roads and interlaced pipes have also helped inject added life to the company’s balance sheet.
With petrochemical businesses and the oil industry literally helping to fuel the country’s continued growth already, Ma’aden is seeking to make its mark to help Saudi Arabia diversify its business interests into the lucrative world of minerals.