Ma'aden was formed by Royal Decree in 1997 to facilitate the development of Saudi Arabia's mineral resources. In 2004, the Cabinet adopted the new Mineral Investment Law in a step helped in the development of the mineral sector and the infrastructure of the railway and the port, which enabled Ma’aden to easily transfer its products to market.
Ma’aden was wholly owned by the Saudi Government before 50% of its shares were floated on the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) in 2008.
Initially Ma'aden's activities focused on expanding its active gold business which now includes several mines throughout KSA: Mahd Ad Dahab, Bulghah, Sukhaybarat, Al Amar, As-Suq and Ad Duwayhi mines. In addition, there is a probable expansion by adding mines of Ar Rajoum, Massarah, and Mansourah.