Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden) has announced that it has entered into an agreement with US group Ivanhoe Electric (IE) to set up a joint venture company to explore minerals including copper, gold, nickel and silver in the kingdom.

Ivanhoe Electric is a NYSE-listed mineral exploration and development company in the US that combines advanced mineral exploration technologies, renewable energy storage solutions and electric metals projects.

As part of the deal, the Saudi group will acquire a 9.9 per cent equity interest in the American group for $126 million.

This is a vital investment for Ma’aden giving it strategic presence in a leading international mining company with its own proprietary technology and increasing its international exposure to critical minerals, said senior company officials at the Heads of Terms signing ceremony held on the sidelines of Future Minerals Forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Under the transaction terms, Ma’aden will obtain the right to appoint one independent director to the Ivanhoe Electric’s Board of Directors and will be issued with approximately 10.2 million new common shares in IE at a price of $12.38 per share. The Saudi mining group said the joint venture will explore 48,500 sq km of selected licenses areas that demonstrate excellent potential.

Through the JV, Ma’aden will obtain royalty free access to IE’s proprietary Typhoon technology, which conducts geophysical surveys using high powered transmitters to detect the presence of sulfide minerals containing copper, nickel, gold and silver.