RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has identified 50 mining sites to be offered to investors, Asharq Al-Awsat reported citing Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar Alkhorayef.
Saudi Arabia expects its mineral wealth to exceed earlier estimates of $1.3 trillion as the Kingdom plans to triple spending on the exploration of metals over the next three years.
The value of the global mining market is expected to increase to $206 trillion in 2022 and to $335 trillion in 2026, up from $184 trillion in 2021, constituting a rise fueled by post-pandemic surge in commodity prices, MEED reported.
The Middle East’s $16 billion mining market, with the Kingdom representing 38 percent of it, is expected to witness a fraction of the growth, according to MEED.
Mining is increasingly a key element of Saudi Arabia’s economic development, after energy and petrochemicals, as the Kingdom seeks to wean its economy off oil production and exports.
The Kingdom’s mining industry has already attracted a number of foreign investors, most notably global giants Barrick Gold and Alcoa.