RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources and the Diriyah Gate Development Authority have signed a memorandum of understanding to regulate the country’s mining businesses, Saudi Press Agency reported.
Under the MoU, both parties will enhance cooperation in all common fields that serve the various sectors related to regulating mining works in the Kingdom.
The MoU was signed in the presence of the Deputy Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources for Mining Affairs Khalid bin Saleh Al-Mudaifer, as well as the CEO of the Diriyah Gate Development Authority Gerard Inzerillo, on the sidelines of the second edition of the Future Minerals Forum in Riyadh.
The new MoU comes in line with the ministry’s efforts aimed at preserving the natural resources in the Kingdom and maximizing their utilization, SPA reported, citing the Undersecretary of the MIMR for Mining Services Saleh Al-Aqili.
Cooperation and coordination between both parties are crucial to ensure that the exploitation of mineral ores meets the desired results, Al-Aqili added.
Both the MIMR and the Diriyah Gate Development Authority will work to develop mechanisms to help monitor violations within the supervisory scope of the authority, he explained.
When it comes to the relevant regulations, both parties will search for the best ways to apply them as required to achieve common goals and to identify the areas of licenses that fall within the scope of supervision, SPA reported, citing the head of the municipal affairs and urban planning sector of the Diriyah Gate Development Authority Ahmed Al-Sharif.
Both parties will also be sharing the relevant data and studies, including exchanging geotechnical and geophysical data and studies, to locate quarries to obtain the necessary materials for building the authority's projects of a unique urban character.
Currently, the Kingdom is processing 145 exploration license applications sent in by foreign companies, according to the analysis.
According to geological surveys dating back 80 years, the Kingdom is thought to have an estimated reserve of untapped mining potential valued at $1.3 trillion.
However, with the prices of valuable minerals rising, especially gold, copper and zinc, the true value of the Kingdom’s current mineral wealth could be double that figure, CEO of the Saudi Geological Survey Abdullah Al-Shamrani said in September 2022.