Saudi Oger signed a preliminary agreement worth $2 billion with the Saudi mining company Maaden.
The agreement stipulates that Maaden will exploit the crude phosphate mines in the kingdom while Oger will build a railway network linking the phosphate mine areas with many eastern and western Saudi cities where the phosphate will be processed.
The two companies will equally share the profits.The project is expected to start in 10 months,during which both firms will finish all related studies and reassess steps to be taken before the start of work.
The current project is considered by the Saudi officials as an advance in the kingdom’s strategies to diversify its sources of earnings and exploit its rich mining resources.They also hope that this project will be a stepping-stone to similar projects.
Maaden was established in April 1997 to engage in and operate all mining and mineral related
activities on a commercial and profitable basis.The company is capitalized at $1.07 billion and is wholly owned by the Saudi government.
Lebanon’s Prime Minister Rafik Hariri holds a majority of the shares in Saudi Oger,whose board of directors also includes his sons Bahaa and Saad,as well as two other relatives.The company operates in more than 16 countries.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)