Arabian American Announces AMAK's Receipt of Four Additional Mining Leases

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SUGAR LAND, Texas, Sept. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Arabian American Development Co. (Nasdaq: ARSD) announced today that AMAK (Al Masane Al Kobra Mining Company), the joint stock company in Saudi Arabia which is 37% owned by Arabian American, has received formal approval of the four additional leases surrounding the Al Masane area (Najran province) in southwestern Saudi Arabia. AMAK submitted the lease applications in the surrounding areas targeting mineral deposits that they believe are prime zinc, copper, nickel, gold and silver deposits. The Ministry of Petroleum and Minerals approved the applications after AMAK submitted a detailed exploration plan. The prospects in question were part of the previous exploration of the region which was undertaken in the late 1980's when approximately $3.0 million was spent by Arabian American in research and core drilling.

The four areas of application, which were approved, include:

  1. West Gayan, which is approximately 41 km2 (25.5 sq. miles) and borders the current lease area to the north and east sides;
  2. Gayan, which is approximately 80.5 km2 (50 sq. miles) and is just to the east of the current lease site. Gayan contains a 9.0 km2 (5.6 sq. mile) area called Jabal Gayan which is primarily a gold prospect identified by the shallow ancient mine gold production and previous core drillings. AMAK currently has the exploitation license for the specific Jabal Gayan area;
  3. East Gayan, which is approximately 100 km2 (62 sq. miles) and lies east of #2 area; and
  4. Wadi Gattan, which is approximately 73 km2 (45.4 sq. miles) and approximately 30 km (18.6 miles) to the east of the current site. The Wadi Gattan area is identified as a potential nickel deposit area.

The proposed geological exploration and mapping program was submitted to the Ministry to secure the final approval of the leases. Exploration and mapping is expected to cost approximately $3.5 million and take about 18 months to accomplish, absent any delays. At the end of the first phase, select areas will be chosen for further detailed exploration and mapping of reserves which is expected to take approximately six additional months. AMAK has been finalizing the expected cost for the detailed exploration and mapping of reserves.

Mr. Carter commented, "This is a positive milestone that concludes the initial step we have taken to monetize our assets in the region. We continue to be encouraged by the escalating mineral prices representing our proven reserves. Due to the close proximity of the additional lease areas to our current mill, we expect the new regions to use the existing AMAK mill, which is scheduled to begin production in early 2012. Additionally, in these areas, we will be investigating the feasibility of open pit mining operations which has the possibility of reducing the capital required to exploit the mineral resources."

About Arabian American Development Company (ARSD)

ARSD owns and operates a petrochemical facility located in southeast Texas just north of Beaumont which specializes in high purity petrochemical solvents and other solvent type manufacturing. The Company is also the original developer and now a 37% owner of Al-Masane Al-Kobra Mining Company (AMAK), a Saudi Arabian joint stock company which is in the final stages of development in Najran Province of southwestern Saudi Arabia. The mine is scheduled to be in production in early 2012 and will produce economic quantities of copper, zinc, gold, and silver.

Safe Harbor

Statements in this release that are not historical facts are forward looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward looking statements are based upon management's belief as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to management. Because such statements are based upon expectations as to future economic performance and are not statements of fact, actual results may differ from those projected. These risks, as well as others, are discussed in greater detail in Arabian American's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including Arabian American's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010, and the Company's subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.

Company Contact:

Nick Carter, President and Chief Executive Officer

(409) 385-8300

Investor Contact:

Cameron Donahue

Hayden IR

(651) 653-1854

SOURCE Arabian American Development Co.