- The doubling of reported phosphate ore reserves in 2016 is a major achievement, which underpins the long term future of our world class phosphate business.
- The large metallurgical bauxite reserves reported at our Al Ba’itha mine can sustain our current production rates for decades. An exploration program targeting additional new mineral resources is continuing in the area.
- The copper mineral resource at Jabal Sayid was increased by 8.8 million tonnes at an average grade of 2.2 percent copper, following 12,000 meters of drilling.
- Ore reserve estimation and detailed feasibility study is in progress over the large 5.4 million ounce mineral resources at the Mansourah and Massarah projects, with reporting expected in 2017.
Ma’aden’s reported phosphate reserves doubled in 2016 following an evaluation program to convert mineral resources from exploration into new ore reserves.
In 2016, our total phosphate resources increased by 13% compared to December 2015, an increase of 53 million tonnes of contained phosphorus pentoxide (P2O5). Our successful phosphate exploration programs in the Jalamid and Umm Wu’al areas since 2011 have resulted in total phosphate mineral resources of 2.62 billion tonnes of phosphate rock containing 461 million tonnes of P2O5.
Following evaluation programs in 2015 and 2016, total ore reserves increased in 2016 to 1.38 billion tonnes of phosphate rock in 2016, which almost doubled our reported ore reserves to 232 million tonnes of P2O5. This reserve base provides future strategic options for our phosphate business.
Umm Wu’al project
The total ore reserves reported in the Umm Wu’al area increased by almost 100 million tonnes of P2O5 in 2016. Block 6 contains 45 million tonnes of reserves and Blocks 4, 5, 10 and 11 contain a further 68 million tonnes. These blocks fall partly within the border security zone but Ma’aden has a reasonable expectation that the mining license applications over these reserves will be granted. The remainder of the area is covered by exploration licenses which are under application for renewal.
Al Khabra project
The resource and reserve for Al Khabra ML are unchanged from 2015. A drilling program of 400 drill holes totaling almost 9,000 meters was completed over the area containing the first five years of planned mine production. The objective was to provide increased confidence for mine planning. An updated resource and reserve estimate will be reported in 2017.
Al Jalamid mine
There were minor decreases in Al Jalamid mine resource and reserve in 2016 after depletion from planned mine production. Large resources have been defined on the adjacent exploration licenses, which are currently under application for renewal.
Al Ba’itha mine
The large metallurgical bauxite reserve at Al Ba’itha mine can sustain our current production rates for decades. The reserve reduced by about 3 million tonnes in 2016 from planned annual mine production. Continuing grade control drilling program in 2016 at Al Ba’itha upgraded the confidence in the reserves for mine planning.
Az Zabirah licenses
Exploration is continuing in the Az Zabirah area to the northwest of Al Ba’itha to add to the reported metallurgical resources of 37 million tonnes in the Az Zabirah area. A new resource at Az Zabirah North is in the estimation stage with reporting expected in 2017.
Total reported gold resources and reserves reduced slightly in 2016 after depletion from scheduled mine production.
The Ar Rjum resource which is estimated in accordance with JORC Code 2004 edition is currently under re-estimation for anticipated reporting in 2017 in accordance to JORC 2012.
Mansourah and Massarah project
A detailed feasibility study program is at an advanced stage of completion on the large 5.4 million ounce mineral resource at the Mansourah and Massarah project. It is expected that a new ore reserves will be reported in 2017. The mining licenses for this project were granted in 2016.
Ar Rjum project
The large gold resources totaling 2.6 million ounces in the Waseemah and Umm Naam licenses are presently being updated using the revised gold price and will be reported according to the JORC Code 2012 edition in 2017. The mining licenses for these two mineral resources were granted in 2016.
Ad Duwayhi, Bulghah Sukhaybarat, Mahd Ad Dhahab and Al Amar mines
There was a minor reduction in mineral resources and ore reserves at Ad Duwayhi, Bulghah, Sukhaybarat, Mahd Ad Dhahab and Al Amar mines following depletion from scheduled annual mine production.
As Suq mine
The mineral resource at As Suq was re-estimated by Ma’aden mine personnel. The resource tonnes decreased while the grade increased, but the contained gold inventory grew only marginally. The ore reserve estimate is in the review stage before public reporting.
Resource estimation was conducted at the Bir Tawilah and Shabah gold prospects in 2016 with results expected to be reported in 2017.
Kaolin and low grade industrial bauxite
Az Zabirah mine
The Az Zabirah mine kaolin and industrial bauxite reserves reduced incrementally in 2016 due to depletion from planned mine production.
Az Zabirah exploration licenses
Exploration is continuing in the Az Zabirah exploration license area, east of the Az Zabirah mine and northwest of Al Ba’itha mine. The program objective is to add to the known resources of metallurgical bauxite, industrial bauxite and kaolin in the district. The Az Zabirah North is at the resource estimation stage for reporting in 2017.
Jabal Sayid mine
The Jabal Sayid mine ore reserve decreased slightly in 2016 after planned annual mine production. At the end of 2016, the reported ore reserve was 22.6 million tonnes at 2.5 percent copper.
Mineral resources for Jabal Sayid are reported exclusive of ore reserves, which is different to other Ma’aden mineral resources which are reported inclusive of ore reserves. This is done to ensure consistent public reporting with the reporting practice of our joint venture partner, Barrick Gold Corporation.
In 2014 and 2015, an underground drilling program of over 12,000 meters was conducted at Jabal Sayid. In 2016, these new data were used to estimate a new mineral resource employing modified estimation techniques and updated economic factors including copper price. This resulted in an additional 8.8 million tonnes of mineral resource at average grade of 2.2 percent copper reported in 2016. This new resource will be evaluated for conversion into ore reserve in a future project.