Al Masane was mined in ancient times, the latest activity being during the Abbasid Caliphate about 1200 years ago. The first modern discovery in the Al Masane area was made in 1967 by Arabian Shield Development Company (ASDC). ASDC noted ancient workings along Sheb al Houra during their airborne reconnaissance and discovered the outcrop of the Al Houra body during their ground follow-up. From ancient inscriptions in the area, it is believed that mining activities went on sporadically from about 1000 BC to about 700 AD. The ancients are believed to have extracted mainly gold, silver and copper. Further prospecting led to the discovery of the Sa’adah deposit, 1km to the north.In 1971, the Saudi Arabian Government awarded an exploration license for Al Masane area to a 50:50 joint venture company between the Arabian Shield Development Company and National Mining Company, a Saudi Arabian Company. The joint venture jointly obtained an interest-free loan of US$11m from the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Finance and National Economy in 1979. In 1992, National Mining Company transferred its rights and obligations to the exploration license of Arabian Shield Development Company.
Here describing the brief summary of Al Masane
Discovery of Al Houra and Sa’adah by Arabian Shield Development Company
Issue of exploration license to Arabian Shield Development Company and National Mining Company as a joint venture
Prospecting, geologic mapping, geochemical surveys, and Turam and SP geophysical surveys
Drilling (28/3,908m) metallurgical test work, bench-scale mineralogical studies, and preliminary estimation of resources
Discovery of third prospect (Moyeath).
Pilot-plant metallurgical test work on bulk samples from Al Houra and Sa’adah lenses at Colorado School of Mines. Feasibility study for Al Masane by WGM and SNC, including resource estimates, site surveys, mine design, mineral processing design, and economic assessment.
Drilling of Moyeath lens (35/15,408m); resources estimated, and preliminary mine plan prepared. Al Masane feasibility study revised to include Moyeath lens.
Geologic data reviewed and new drilling targets outlined. Al Masane data reviewed, and new areas for drilling outlined; surface drilling at Sheb al Houra (25/3,467m) indicated additional resources.
Mining Lease issued to Arabian Shield Development Company.
ASDC faced difficulties raising capital to start the construction of the site and to keep the project economically viable due to prevailing metals prices, which were very low and fluctuating.
Formed Al Masane Al Kobra Mining Co. (AMAK) Signed contracts with NESMA / China National Geological & Mining Corporation, China..
Construction of project completed.
Commissioning & Production started Handover of surface plant for commissioning and testing.
Start of Commercial Operations.
” We completed the testing and commissioning of our mining facility , which is fully operational as of quarter 3 of 2012. The facility was officially inaugurated by His Royal Highness Prince Mishaal bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Prince of Najran on 2 October 2012 “