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Al-Khorayef opens Future Minerals Forum in Riyadh
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 12 - 01 - 2022

On behalf of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar bin Ibrahim Al-Khorayef inaugurated Future Minerals Forum at the King Abdulaziz International Conference Center in Riyadh on Wednesday.
During his speech, the minister welcomed participants and attendees and wished them a pleasant stay and for the conference to reach outcomes that meet the aspirations of all.
He said: "The challenge of meeting the increasing global demand on minerals has become clear as a result of trends in the advanced industry fields and ambitions of clean energy and carbon neutrality, where the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, through the Forum dubbed 'Future Minerals', seeks to contribute to responding to the future needs of the mining sector through bringing together all mining stakeholders of governments, investors, financial institutions, service providers and manufacturers, so as to provide them a cooperation platform to draw a future roadmap that aims at realizing sustainable development for our societies and economies through expanding the contributions of this important and promising sector.
"Today, we have a great opportunity to contribute to providing vital minerals and benefiting from the mining sector to be a main economic driver in regional countries, especially as they face the same challenges of the need for increasing exploration, providing a proper infrastructure and attracting qualitative investments. Let our goal be seizing this opportunity and to push forward the mining sustainable development in our countries and the entire region."
Al-Khorayef said the conference highlights Saudi Arabia's awareness of the importance of the mining sector, its impact on economic prosperity and on the future of several industries that are our top priority as they affect daily lives.
He noted that Saudi Arabia was witnessing a remarkable transformation at all levels with the launch of the Saudi Vision 2030 that sought to expand the economic base, and realize economic diversity, and focused on developing the mining sector through one of the biggest programs of the vision — the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program (NIDLP) that aims to make the Kingdom a leading industrial powerhouse and a global logistics hub with mining being the third industrial pillar for the national industry.
He said the value of mineral resources in the Kingdom stands at more than $ 1.3 trillion, such as phosphate and bauxite in the northeastern part, and gold, copper and rare land-based deposits in the Arabian Shield in the western part of Saudi Arabia.
The minister also pointed out that Saudi Arabia sought to create laws and regulations that contribute to the growth of the mining sector and attracting qualitative investments, starting from the new Investment Bylaw that is characterized with high transparency and contribute to developing communities, reducing impacts on the environment and preserving it, stimulating industries pertaining to minerals, and reaching a conducive environment that takes into consideration the needs of mining investments that require huge capital and long-term investment.
This was in addition to emphasizing the need for fixed laws and regulations and clarity of financial policies in a way that guarantees reducing risks for this kind of investment to make it able to realize the envisioned change.
He also said that the ministry, on its way of realizing its targets in the mining sector, has made several gains, such as enforcing the new Mining Investment Bylaw and launching the Mining e-platform to provide geological data and facilitate procedures for issuing mining licenses and announcing the national database for geology, and embarking on the implementation of the general survey project that covers an area of 600,000 square meters, launching the initiative of accelerated exploration to conduct surveys and evaluate strategic minerals sites, explore and develop promising minerals areas, and establishing a company for mining service with the aim of developing the level of service provided for the sector and enhancing its competitiveness.
He noted that the total number of mining licenses stands at 1,967 for surveying, exploring and utilizing various minerals, 25% of which were issued in 2021, explaining that the number of booked complexes and mineral reserve locations reached 431 locations, stressing that the ministry works on other initiatives to contribute to increasing the contribution of the mining sector to the GDP from $17 billion to $64 billion by 2030.
Future depends on mining sector
Governor of the Public Investment Fund (PIF) Yasir bin Othman Al-Rumayyan stressed that many of the future industries depend on the mining sector, noting that the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa are considered the main regions for mining.
During his virtual participation in a side meeting in the Future Minerals Forum, he said the mining sector is the third pillar of the national economy, noting that Saudi Arabia has enormous natural resources and promising opportunities in investment in the potentials of the mining sector.
He pointed out that PIF considers mining one of the main strategic sectors with great importance to realize the Saudi Vision 2030 goals. The Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma'aden) has doubled its revenues to become a world class operators, and that is working with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in developing a breakthrough innovation to extract valuable minerals from seawater, he added. — SPA

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