Saudi Arabia needs to act as a disrupter in mining technologies to help solve some of the biggest challenges facing the sector, according to the founder of a green-focused investment company.
Joachim Berlenbach from the Earth Resource Investment Group told delegates at the Future Minerals Forum in Riyadh on Wednesday that the Kingdom can “start from scratch” when it comes to developing environmentally-responsible ways of excavating minerals and metals.
He also called on Saudi-based firms to take on some of the issues holding back renewable energy, namely how to store power captured through solar and other means.
Berlenbach said: “The energy for the mining industry, with those renewables, probably comes cheaply in Saudi Arabia but we need also to store energy.
“Here is the importance of disruptive technology: how to supply energy through the night?
“This is what Saudi companies need to work on, how to supply energy at night. That could be through batteries, which requires vanadium.
“One of the biggest resources for vanadium is oil. Oil in refineries is polluting and poisoning for refineries but now you can actually explore that oil can actually help in energy from an ESG (environmental, social, and governance) point of view.”
The Future Minerals Forum is a special event bringing together ministers, organisations and mining leaders from more than 30 countries.
Hosted by the Saudi Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, is aimed at highlighting the role of mining in Saudi Vision 2030, after the government identified it as the third pillar of the Kingdom’s economy.