Saudi Arabia boosts position as major mining destination

Ekrem Osmanoglu
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Saudi Arabia has presented itself as a world-class mining destination with unique opportunities for investors, explorers, miners and service providers in this rapidly evolving sector.

Speaking at MINExpo International 2021, Las Vegas, Khalid Al-Mudaifer, Vice-Minister of Mining Affairs for the Saudi Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, said: “Saudi Arabia is very much open for business. We have a demonstrable track record of success with our international partners, offering a best-in-class experience benchmarked against global standards.”

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“Additionally, the government continues to support the development of mining through major infrastructure transformation, including roads, rail, ports and electricity networks. Now is the time for international organisations to be part of the mining sector’s exponential growth in the kingdom,” he said.

The Saudi Arabia is estimated to contain $1.3 trillion worth of potential mineral value, across numerous commodities, many of which are critical to the technologies that will drive a sustainable future, and which are in high demand.

The recently launched National Geological Database provides online access to 80 years’ worth of national records of geological, geophysical and geochemical information, including thousands of detailed reports on mining targets and prospects.

Also recently announced, a major Regional Geological Survey Programme (supported with government investment of more than half a trillion dollars) is now under way and will conduct geophysical and geochemical surveys and create detailed mapping of nearly 700,000 square kilometres of the Arabian Shield.

The kingdom has launched the Mining Sector Sustainability Assurance Initiative, which aims to create a sector that is focused on balancing economic value and environmental protection.

The country’s new mining law ensures that sustainable practices are a foremost priority for new mining operators as they apply for licences.