The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources has released details of its progress delivering its long-term global mining strategy, during the International Mining and Resources Conference and Expo (IMARC) held from Oct. 29 to 31 in Australia. The theme for the strategy is “Mining’s Vast Potential.”
Originally named one of the most promising new growth sectors in Vision 2030, the ministry has made great strides toward increased exploration and investment in the mining sector. The announcement provides details of the work already done and plans for how to accelerate economic growth in the future.
“The Arabian Peninsula has long been known for its mineral richness, and building on that unique strength, we see an even brighter future for mining in Saudi Arabia,” said Saleh Alaqili, deputy minister for Mining Investment Development and leader of the Saudi delegation to IMARC. “Our long-term mining strategy is focused on driving economic diversification and growth for the Kingdom, while offering exciting exploration and investment opportunities.”
Saudi Arabia’s mining strategy is built around the development of integrated mineral value chains that will elevate the sector to become the third pillar of Saudi industry. The ministry intends to deliver on the sector’s promise by:
• Leveraging the Kingdom’s unparalleled mineral endowment.
• The “Arabian Shield” is estimated to house a potential $1.3 trillion worth of minerals, including phosphate, gold, copper, silver, zinc, rare earth minerals and others.
• Harnessing its strong domestic demand for minerals.
• Saudi Arabia is the fourth largest net importer of mineral and metal products, many of which can be produced domestically.
• Fostering a mining ecosystem that is attractive to Saudi and international explorers, investors and other stakeholders.
• Much of the ministry’s work during the last year has been focused on transforming the Kingdom’s mining ecosystem.
The ministry has identified four drivers of Saudi Arabia’s mining strategy and has committed nearly $4 billion to advancing them:
• Improving sector governance by establishing a new overarching mining law
• Digitizing critical processes and services
• Making the most accurate geological data accessible
The Saudi delegation included the key enablers involved in the transformation of the mining sector: Saudi Geological Survey (SGS), National Industrial Development and Logistics Program (NIDLP), Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority (SAGIA), and Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF).
“We have aggressive goals over the course of the next 10 years to deliver a valuable, sustainable mining sector for Saudi Arabia,” said Alaqili. “We welcome the world to work with us to deliver maximum value from our rich mineral resources.”