Saudi Arabia increases mineral potential projections by 90% to $2.5tn

Update Saudi Arabia increases mineral potential projections by 90% to $2.5tn
Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar Alkhorayef highlighted that the revision is based on discoveries related to rare earth elements and an upswing in mineral volumes. AN Photo
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Updated 10 January 2024
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Saudi Arabia increases mineral potential projections by 90% to $2.5tn

Saudi Arabia increases mineral potential projections by 90% to $2.5tn

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has elevated its projections for undiscovered mineral potential by 90 percent to $2.5 trillion, as stated by the minister of industry and mineral resources.  

Speaking during the opening remarks of the third Future Minerals Forum, Bandar Alkhorayef highlighted that the revision is based on discoveries related to rare earth elements and an upswing in mineral volumes.  

The minister said: “I am delighted to announce that our estimation for the Kingdom’s untapped mineral potential has increased from $1.3 trillion to $2.5 trillion, an increase of 90 percent.”   

He added: “This is based on new discoveries in the form of rare earth elements and the combination of the increase of volumes in phosphate, gold, zinc and copper as well as the revaluation of these minerals.” 

Alkhorayef further explained that this is only built on 30 percent of the Arabian Shield exploration suggesting that there is more to be discovered. In addition, it clearly shows that with more investment in exploration, it is possible to maximize the endowment potential.  

The minister also announced that the forum will witness signing of deals worth SR75 billion ($20 billion), driving research and development technology upstream and other value chain opportunities.  

“Today, we are at a historical point where minerals are at the spotlight as vital elements for the energy transition, food security and for global development,” Alkhorayef said.  

The minister also expressed his delight as he revealed many key initiatives, beginning with the exploration incentive program in partnership with the Ministry of Investment, which has a budget of more than $182 million.  

“This program will de-risk investments in our exploration securing to enable new commodities, greenfield projects, and junior miners. In addition, and to drive the existing future of the exploration sector, we are announcing the fifth and sixth rounds of licensing programs offering access to 33 exploration sites this year,” he continued.  

Looking at exponential progress made on the key initiatives the Kingdom agreed on last year, Alkhorayef announced to offer country-sized sites for exploration beginning with the Jabal Sayid Mineral Belt spanning over 4,000 sq. km.  

During the high-level ministerial roundtable meeting on Tuesday, Alkhorayef stated that the Kingdom has endorsed a detailed roadmap for the development of a regional critical mineral framework to promote global collaboration and maximize value creation in supplier countries.  

“We agreed on further work on exploring value chain creation opportunities for green metal hubs in the region, enabled by new technologies and renewable energy which we consider draft sustainability, expectations to be incorporated into the framework,” the minister said.  

He added: “We endorsed a roadmap for the creation of Mineral Innovation and Acceleration Park, the first phase of a global network of centers of excellence. All of this is proof that we are turning talk into action.”  


Saudi filmmakers showcase their upcoming short films in Cannes   

Saudi filmmakers showcase their upcoming short films in Cannes   
Updated 5 min 37 sec ago
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Saudi filmmakers showcase their upcoming short films in Cannes   

Saudi filmmakers showcase their upcoming short films in Cannes   

DUBAI: Saudi filmmakers Hana Alfasi, Maram Taibah, and sister duo Raneem and Dana Almohandes showcased snippets of their upcoming short films — which are being created as part of the ‘AlUla Creates: Film Program’ platform — to a select audience of industry professionals this week at the Saudi pavilion during the 77th Cannes Film Festival.

Alfasi, director of “When the Shelves Hymn,” told Arab News: “It’s a great opportunity to have industry professionals attend a screening of a scene from our new short film.

Raneem and Dana Almohandes. (AN/ Ammar Abd Rabbo)

“We hope this film will find its way to A-list festivals, gaining the spotlight it deserves through screenings like the one we’re having today,” she added.

Alfasi hopes that the screening will connect her and her team with more professionals as she prepares to direct a feature film, for which she will need additional financial funding and support.

Taibah’s “Malika” is a short fantasy film about a young girl who goes on an adventure to find her dying grandmother’s lost crown, only to discover unexpected parts of herself, the filmmaker said. 

Maram Taiba (L). (AN/ Ammar Abd Rabbo)

“I’m very proud of what we made. It was such a delightful process to work with such talented visionaries starting from my producer, cinematographer, and casting director to the postproduction team,” Taibah said.

Taibah believes that Saudi Arabia has many untold stories. 

“Each filmmaker in Saudi is showing one piece of the tapestry and mine shows the magical side of our culture and the treasured relationships we have with our grannies,” she said. “I hope to share the magic of the film and raise anticipation for the completed piece here in Cannes.”

The Almohandes sisters felt “honored” to showcase their movie “Mosquito” to industry experts. 

“Since the beginning of our careers, we always looked forward to showing our films at Cannes and here we are and we’re extremely grateful to the AlUla Creates program for making this happen,” they said. 


Ronaldo leads Roshn Saudi Pro League stars set to boost their nations at Euro 2024

Ronaldo leads Roshn Saudi Pro League stars set to boost their nations at Euro 2024
Updated 34 min 2 sec ago
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Ronaldo leads Roshn Saudi Pro League stars set to boost their nations at Euro 2024

Ronaldo leads Roshn Saudi Pro League stars set to boost their nations at Euro 2024
  • Aleksandar Mitrovic and N’Golo Kante among 15 players expected in Germany at end of the SPL season

RIYADH: Several Roshn Saudi Pro League players are preparing to join their nations for the Euro 2024 tournament taking place from June 14 to July 14 in Germany.

The 24-team tournament kicks off at Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena and ends with the final at the Olympiastadion.

As things stand, and fitness permitting, this year’s edition will have 15 players from seven SPL teams taking part.

According to the Transfermarkt website, these SPL players, most of whom moved to the Kingdom last summer, are valued at an estimated total of $267 million. The collective market value of all players participating in Euro 2024 stands at an impressive $12 billion.

Leading the pack is Al-Nasser with four players expected to compete at Euro 2024, led by superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. Joining him in the Portuguese squad will be Otavio, while Aymeric Laporte will represent Spain, and Marcelo Brozovic will run out for Croatia. The four players have a combined market value of $96 million.

Two Saudi Arabia clubs will have three players representing their countries at Euro 2024.

The newly crowned SPL champions Al-Hilal will provide the Serbian duo of Aleksander Mitrovic and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, while midfielder Reuben Neves joins Portugal. The three stars are worth $112 million.

Al-Okhdood, somewhat surprisingly considering the number of foreign talent at the top four clubs, are the other team to have three players heading to the European showcase. The Romania pair of Andrei Burca and Florin Tanase, as well as Georgia’s center-half Solomon Kvirkvelia, are valued at $7.7 million.

Al-Ettifaq will have the Netherlands’ Georginio Wijnaldum and Scotland’s Jack Hendry who are valued at $8.3 million. Al-Ahli center-half Merih Demiral, valued at $19.4 million, is expected to join Turkiye’s squad, while Damac’s midfielder Nicolae Stanciu, valued at $5.4 million, will represent Romania.

Rounding out the roster is Al-Ittihad’s French midfield star and World Cup winner N’Golo Kante with a market value of $10.8 million.


Iran says used own drones to locate Raisi’s helicopter

Iran says used own drones to locate Raisi’s helicopter
Updated 32 min 34 sec ago
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Iran says used own drones to locate Raisi’s helicopter

Iran says used own drones to locate Raisi’s helicopter
  • A huge search and rescue operation for Raisi’s helicopter involved help from the European Union, Russia and Turkiye
  • Drone dispatched by Turkiye had failed to locate the crash site, Iran says

TEHRAN: The Iranian military said Wednesday that it had used domestically produced drones to locate the helicopter of president Ebrahim Raisi after it crashed in the northwestern mountains.
Raisi’s helicopter came down on a fog-shrouded mountainside on Sunday as it returned to the city of Tabriz from a ceremony on the border with Azerbaijan.
A huge search and rescue operation was launched, involving help from the European Union, Russia and Turkiye before the crash site was located early on Monday.
The Iranian military said that a drone dispatched by Turkiye had failed to locate the crash site “despite having night-vison equipment“
“This drone failed to accurately announce the location of the helicopter crash and finally returned to Turkiye,” the military said in a statement carried by the official IRNA news agency
“Finally, in the early hours of Monday morning, the exact spot of the helicopter crash was discovered by the ground rescue forces and Iranian drones of the armed forces.”
Armed forces chief Mohammad Bagheri has ordered an investigation into the cause of the crash, which also killed seven members of Raisi’s entourage, including Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.


Oil Updates – crude slips for third session on likely ‘higher for longer’ US rates

Oil Updates – crude slips for third session on likely ‘higher for longer’ US rates
Updated 40 min 38 sec ago
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Oil Updates – crude slips for third session on likely ‘higher for longer’ US rates

Oil Updates – crude slips for third session on likely ‘higher for longer’ US rates

SINGAPORE: Oil prices fell for a third straight session on Wednesday on expectations the Federal Reserve might keep US interest rates higher for longer due to sustained inflation, potentially impacting fuel use in the world’s largest oil consumer, according to Reuters.

Brent crude futures were down 71 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $82.17 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate crude futures slipped 73 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $77.93 as of 9:50 a.m. Saudi time.

Oil prices settled about 1 percent lower on Tuesday.

Fed policymakers said on Tuesday the US central bank should wait several more months to ensure that inflation really is back on track toward its 2 percent target before cutting interest rates.

Higher borrowing costs can slow economic growth and pressure oil demand.

US crude oil and gasoline inventories rose last week, while distillates fell, according to market sources citing American Petroleum Institute (API) figures on Tuesday.

Ahead of this weekend’s Memorial Day holiday, which kicks off the US peak summer driving season, retail gasoline prices fell for the fourth consecutive week. US prices of diesel, a key refined product for both the industrial sector and transport, have also slipped.

Investors are awaiting minutes from the Fed’s last policy meeting and weekly US oil inventory data from the US Energy Information Administration due later on Wednesday.

“The Federal Open Market Committee minutes will be scrutinized for Fed’s assessment of bumpy Q1 inflation and clues on the timing and extent of potential interest rate cuts in 2024,” ANZ analysts said in a report.

“It’s more of a wait and see ‘what the data is telling us’ approach,” ANZ said.

The eurozone has all but promised a rate cut on June 6 amid more positive economic outlook. European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said in an interview aired on Tuesday that she was “really confident” eurozone inflation was under control.


Saudi, Iraq officials meet to discuss border security

Saudi, Iraq officials meet to discuss border security
Updated 22 May 2024
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Saudi, Iraq officials meet to discuss border security

Saudi, Iraq officials meet to discuss border security

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and Iraq officials have been meeting in Baghdad to discuss border-security issues, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

Maj. Gen. Shayie bin Salem Al-Wadaani, director-general of Saudi Arabia’s Border Guards, led the Kingdom’s delegation at Iraq’s Ministry of Interior headquarters.

During the meeting, the officials discussed ways to enhance security cooperation, the SPA reported.