RIYADH: The Saudi Cabinet on Tuesday approved a new mining investment law that aims to revolutionize the Kingdom’s mining and metals industry, and boost local and foreign investments in the sector.
Industry and Mineral Resources Minister Bandar Alkhorayef described the law as a strategic initiative that will boost the mining sector’s contribution to gross domestic product by over SR240 billion ($64 billion), reduce imports by SR37 billion, and create 200,000 direct and indirect jobs by 2030.
The new law will facilitate the establishment of a mining fund to provide sustainable finance for the sector as well as support geological survey and exploration programs.
Alkhorayef said the strength of the mining and metals industry depends on good governance and transparency as these factors boost investors’ confidence.
He said the new law deals with these issues effectively and also “aims to achieve sustainability, environment protection, compliance with health and safety regulations.”
The minister said areas near mining projects in the Kingdom will also eventually reap the benefits of the new law.
Consisting of 63 articles, the law will help optimize mineral resources in the Kingdom, which, according to experts, are valued at SR5 trillion.
Alkhorayef said the ministry aims to make the mining sector the third pillar of the Saudi industrial sector by ensuring good governance, clear-cut regulations and a well-defined licensing system.
The new law is in line with the objectives of the National Industrial Development and Logistic Program (NIDLP), which seeks to transform the Kingdom into an industrial power and logistics hub.
NIDLP CEO Sulaiman Al-Mazroua said the new law will benefit other major sectors and create job opportunities for Saudi youth.
“The approval is bound to contribute to the development of the sector and reinforce its pivotal role in bolstering the sector’s competitiveness, creating quality jobs, ability to attract lucrative investments, and enabling further downstream industries,” he said.
Al-Mazroua said the new law is comprehensive and covers all aspects of the mining and metals industry.
It will help transform the sector into the third major pillar of the national economy, he added.