Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) has set the target of having 14,000 employees by 2022 as it ramps up its operations in the kingdom.

The vast majority of the new employees will be located in remote areas where Maaden carries out the majority of his operations. A total of 80 per cent of Maaden’s current workforce of 6,000 is located outside the major metropolitan areas of Riyadh and Jeddah.

Speaking at the Middle East Process Engineering Conference (MEPEC) in Bahrain, Khalid al-Luhaidan, vice president of aluminium at Maaden, said that priority will be given to local candidates for any new positions that come available with the company.

“We work in some extremely remote areas and it is very important that we ensure that the people from those areas are given priority,” Al-Luhaidan said. “Employing local people is beneficial to the local community and if they have the right abilities then they will be in a good position.”

The executive also said that more needed to be done to encourage young Saudis in remote areas into further education in order for them to fill future positions in the technical sectors of Maaden’s business.

Other initiatives are being implemented that will also foster better relationships with local suppliers and increase the amount of raw materials and services procured in remote areas.   

When all of Maaden’s business units are operational, 40 per cent of its workforce will be in the aluminium sector, 25 per cent in the phosphate sector, 22 per cent in the gold sector and 13 per cent in the corporate sector.  

MEPEC was held in Bahrain between 30 September and 2 October.