Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) has formed a 50:50 joint venture with Canada’s Barrick Gold to operate the Jabal Sayid copper mine in Saudi Arabia.

The partnership has been formed with a view to moving forward with the development of the copper mine. Maaden has paid $210m for 50 per cent of the concession and production from the asset is now expected to start by the end of 2015.

In a statement, Barrick Gold said it expects to produce 45,000-59,000 tonnes a year (t/y) of copper from the mine in the first five years based on reserves of about 636 million tonnes.

As part of the deal, further exploration will be carried out within the licence area, with a view to prolonging the production life of the mine.

Jabal Sayid is located about 120 kilometres from Medina.