Saudi Arabian Mining Company, better known as Ma'aden, is increasing its share capital by 12.3 billion Saudi riyals ($3.2 billion) as it looks to strengthen its capital base.
The shareholders of Ma’aden, one of the Gulf's biggest miners, approved the board recommendation to increase capital by 50 per cent to 36.91 billion riyals, from 24.61 billion riyals, through issuance of bonus shares, the company said in a filing to the Tadawul stock exchange, where its shares are traded.
“The company aims to strengthen its capital base, which contributes to boost the future growth plans,” Ma’aden said in the bourse filing.
The increase in capitalisation will come from the company’s statutory reserve and retained earnings.
The Saudi miner will issue about one bonus share for every two owned by shareholders, it said.
“The eligibility of the bonus shares shall be for shareholders owning shares by the end of trading day of the company’s extraordinary general assembly,” it said.
Shareholders also approved share buyback of 2.1 million shares, which will be allocated to the employee stock incentive programme.
Ma’aden, which is majority-owned by the kingdom’s Public Investment Fund, is central to Riyadh’s economic diversification strategy.
The expansion of the industrial and mining sectors is one of the main objectives of the kingdom's Vision 2030 agenda, which positions mining as a third pillar of the economy.
Ma'aden operates several extraction sites and mines in Saudi Arabia, where it produces gold, copper, iron ore and other strategic minerals.
Last month, chief executive Robert Wilt said during an earnings disclosure that the miner had boosted production and sales volumes in its core phosphate business unit and delivered another period of strong cash generation during the first quarter of the year.
“This was despite softer commodity prices, which impacted our top-line performance and profitability compared to last year,” he said.
This year, the company teamed up with PIF to pursue global mining investment opportunities.
The joint venture will initially invest in mining assets used for iron ore, copper, nickel and lithium extraction. It will start of as a non-operating partner, taking minority equity positions, the company said.
In addition, the Saudi miner also formed a 50/50 joint venture this year with Ivanhoe Electric, the American technology and mineral exploration company, to undertake one of the largest exploration programmes.