New legislation will increase the appeal of the mining sector, say experts

New legislation will increase the appeal of the mining sector, say experts
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The new mining law balances between the development of mining industry and the protection and safety of the environment. (Photo/ArabsStock)
New legislation will increase the appeal of the mining sector, say experts
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Fadhel Saad Al-Buainain, A member of the board of directors of the Saudi Financial Association
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Updated 20 June 2020

New legislation will increase the appeal of the mining sector, say experts

New legislation will increase the appeal of the mining sector, say experts
  • Environment protection is an essential part of the new law, he said, which attaches great importance to such protection

RIYADH: Many geological and economic experts stressed the pivotal role of the Cabinet-approved mining investment law in attracting investors to the sector.
The experts agreed that the establishment of a mining development fund as stated in the new law will increase the investment appeal of the sector.
The law will revolutionize the mining industry and will help to optimize mineral resources in the Kingdom which, according to experts, are valued at SR5 trillion ($1.3 trillion).
Industry and Mineral Resources Minister Bandar Al-Khorayef described the law as a strategic initiative that will boost the mining sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) by more than SR240 billion, reduce imports by SR37 billion, and create 200,000 direct and indirect jobs by 2030.
Dr. Muhammad Rashad Mofti, the former dean of the Geology College at King Abdul Aziz University, stressed the importance of delineating the rights and duties of domestic and foreign investors wishing to invest in the mining sector.
The exploration operations, he said, are the most important operations, followed by extraction, utilization and mining: “There should be explanatory regulations for the law.”
He said: “The Saudi as well as Saudi-foreign exploration companies should be invited to invest in the mining sector and provided with different incentives. The exploration operations differ in nature and some of them might take a long time, which requires huge capital.”
Hassan Alwatban, an economic consultant, said the new mining investment law relies on two pivotal themes: Development of areas and cities near mining projects and the protection of environment and areas near mining projects.
“Agropastoral areas will become advanced industrial communities, thanks to the new law. Paved roads will be constructed and transportation networks will be established, while advanced infrastructure will be set up to accommodate the needs of advanced urban and industrial communities,” he said, adding “Unemployment will be reduced while job opportunities will be created for Saudis, increasing the number of Saudis working in the industrial sector.”
Environment protection is an essential part of the new law, he said, which attaches great importance to such protection.
He added that the law balances between the development of mining industry and the protection and safety of the environment. “This is achieved through the support the ministry will give to potential investors by providing them with statistics reports and technical and geographic studies focusing on the topography.”
The new law protects the soil from being contaminated and preserves the groundwater while preventing chemical pollution, as well as visual and gaseous pollution, he said.
Fadhel Saad Al-Buainain, a member of the board of directors of the Saudi Financial Association, said the Cabinet has set the legislation required for developing the sector and regularizing the government-investment relationships.
The governance of the sector will help reshape the mining sector professionally and allow for a clearer vision, more transparency and better ways to identify the opportunities and increase investors’ confidence in the sector, he added.
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.
It will also address the environmental challenges, said Al-Buainain. “Not having environment protection standards will lead to uncontrolled and haphazard expansion of mining projects. The law takes this matter seriously and handles it in a way that achieved the highest safety standards.”
Providing support to any sector, enhancing its governance and increasing funds will create various investment opportunities as has happened with the petrochemical sector.
According to Al-Buainain, the production of basic mining materials can stimulate investment in mining production chains, creating an added value to the sector’s products. “Downstream industries are expected to emerge as promising opportunities in the future.”


Saudi royals offer condolences to Indonesia’s quake victims

Saudi royals offer condolences to Indonesia’s quake victims
Updated 19 January 2021

Saudi royals offer condolences to Indonesia’s quake victims

Saudi royals offer condolences to Indonesia’s quake victims
  • At least 56 people were killed and 820 injured in the quake that left 15,000 people displaced

RIYADH: The Saudi King and Crown Prince have offered their condolences to President Joko Widodo of Indonesia after an earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale hit Sulawesi island on Friday, state news agency SPA reported.

According to the disaster mitigation agency (BNPB) at least 56 people were killed and 820 injured in the quake that left 15,000 people displaced.

King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman offered their sympathy to the families of those killed and wished a speedy recovery for the injured.