In 2021 IGS was appointed as the official technical partner of the Saudi Geological Survey (SGS) for a major geodata acquisition project in Saudi Arabia. The project will expand on previous geological data collections for the Arabian Shield. The project forms part of the Saudi Arabian Vision 2030 to modernize the country, including the mining sector.
IGS is the Lead Party in a consortium with GTK (Finland). IGS has also contracted the Jeddah based geoscientific company Geotech Arabia, PGW geophysicists, and several other independent consultants.
The IGS role in the project includes the QA/QC of the various sub-projects, which are:
- Upgrading existing SGS legacy data sets into a National Geological Database (NGD). The NGD will then host the newly acquired geodata. Some aspects of the NGD will be implemented by GTK, with others implemented by external contractors.
- Establishment of a National Core Library (NCL), with modern borehole scanning and photographic facilities. The NCL will host legacy and future drill cores.
- An airborne magnetic and radiometric geophysical survey over the Arabian Shield, flown at a line spacing of 300 m, and a height of 60 m. Sanders and Excalibur are the appointed contractors for the survey, which is under way.
- A geochemical survey over the Arabian Shield at a density of one sample every 6 km2. Over 100,000 stream sediment samples will be collected and analyzed. The Chinese Geological Survey (CGS) won the contract for this survey and began the first phase of the project in 2022.
- 1:100,00 scale geological mapping over the Arabian Shield covering 271 map sheets. This project will probably start in 2023 and run for a maximum period of 11 years. A National Stratigraphic Committee has been established which will work closely with the mapping contractor throughout the mapping program. The project will begin with a five-year phase concentrating on the areas with well-established high economic mineral potential.