Saudi Arabia underlined its support for its mining industry when its Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources ran a virtual workshop highlighting the country’s potential yesterday.
Ahead of the Investing in Africa Mining Indaba Conference, which is slated to take place in Cape Town from May 9-12, Saudi’s Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources organized a virtual workshop in collaboration with the Ministry of Investment and the Embassy of South Africa.
The workshop was entitled “Explore the Future of Mining Industry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”.
According to the Saudi Ministry, mining opportunities for metals such as copper, zinc, gold, silver and lead in Saudi Arabia are estimated to be worth a potential USD 1.3 trillion.
A wide range of investment opportunities were promoted during the workshop and will be showcased at the Indaba Conference. The Ministry aims to promote the Saudi mining sector and to attract foreign investment and expertise. 2021 saw the issuing of a revised Mining Investment Law that clarifies license requirements and the processes for application and approval. The new law also focuses on ensuring sustainable business practices.
As part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, the government aims to develop the mining sector to become a strong contributor to the national economy and take advantage of the country’s potential to develop into a leading global logistics hub.
Potential for growth
The country’s mining activities remain limited, with a focus on phosphate, gold and bauxite. Despite the relatively small scale of the industry, Abdullah bin Muftar Al-Shamrani, CEO of the Saudi Geological Survey, claimed that past mining operations have identified over 5,300 mineral locations and at least 48 different minerals in the country, some of which are essential, such as cobalt, lithium, and titanium.
The Indaba Conference represents one of the largest mining investment conferences in the world. The organizers aim to bring together a wide range of stakeholders from within the mining industry and last year’s event saw 6,500 attendees from around the world.