RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources has signed a memorandum of understanding with Standard Chartered Bank to assess the requirements for sustainable investment in the mining sector in the Kingdom, as per the objectives of Vision 2030.
The MoU will look at promoting knowledge transfer, technology enablement, job creation and implementation of the Future Minerals Forum outcomes. It will also encourage local and international investors to explore investment opportunities in the mining and mineral sectors in Saudi Arabia.
The MoU also stipulates cooperation between the two parties with a view to accelerating the development of projects and investments in mining and mineral value chains, including green metals and battery components, Saudi Press Agency reported.
The signing ceremony was attended by Vice Minister for Mining Affairs Khalid Al-Mudaifer; Global Head of Metals and Mining at SCB Richard Horrocks-Taylor; and CEO of the Saudi Industrial Development Fund Prince Sultan bin Khalid bin Faisal Al Saud. Also present at the ceremony were MIM’s Assistant Deputy for Mining Development Turki Al Babtain, and the Regional Head of Client Coverage Corporate, Commercial and Institutional Banking for Africa and Middle East at SCB Sarmad Lone.
Saudi Arabia’s mining sector is witnessing unprecedented growth as the government is pushing to develop the industry with increased investment and upgraded laws to attract more private players.
This saw the number of mining complexes in the Kingdom as of the end of 2022 rising to 377, with an estimated area of 44,365 sq. km, according to the latest government data.
Saudi Arabia possesses more than 20 different types of minerals, including gravel, gold, iron, copper, granite and marble, stated the ministry in a tweet.
The Kingdom has 35 locations with specific geological formations, called mineral belts, that contain abundant mineral deposits.
The ministry upgraded its mining investment law in 2020 to develop the mining sector and designed a long-term integrated mining system aimed at protecting both employees and the environment.
The government expects such improvements to spill over to adjacent sectors by way of providing jobs and boosting local spending in Saudi Arabia.
In January, the ministry also signed an MoU with the Diriyah Gate Development Authority to regulate the country’s mining businesses.
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.