• Saudi Arabia plans to spend $ 3.8 billion to support mineral exploration activities



    AlEqtisadiah from Riyadh


    Saudi Arabia will invest about $ 3.8 billion, senior government officials said on Tuesday, to facilitate the availability of geological data and reducing administrative constraints, as a part of its efforts to support mineral exploration activities.

    According to "Reuters", the government plans to achieve a strong start for the Saudi mining sector in order to form part of a broader industrial strategy that aims at diversifying the economy and attracting private sector investments that worth 1.6 trillion riyals ($ 426 billion) over the next 10 years.

    The investments will be channeled through the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program, under the Vision of the Kingdom 2030, with a strategy aims at reducing the economy's dependence on oil and creating jobs.


    Khalid al-Mudayfar, deputy minister of energy, industry and mineral wealth for mining at an African conference on mining, "Saudi mining activity has been characterized for some time by the lack of geological data available publicly, long-term licensing and lack of transparency."

    He added that $ 3.8 billion will be spent to facilitate business activities in order to improve data quality to reduce risks associated with investing in new mining opportunities for gold, zinc, rare metals and other minerals.

    Saudi Arabia is among the largest phosphate exporters in the world and employs about 250,000 people in the kingdom's mining sector.

    He said the government was also working on the establishment of a digital platform to contribute to the completion of licensing procedures for exploration within 60 days, compared to six months now.

    He added, "The law also allows ownership of 100 per cent. You can apply for licenses for exploration or mining."


    Earlier, Abdulrahman Al-Balushi, head of the program's mining strategy, said that there are huge opportunities in Saudi Arabia for investors to benefit from mineral resources estimated at about $ 1.3 trillion.

    He added, "Along with oil and gas in the Eastern part of the kingdom, we have enormous geological potential, still largely untapped."


    Another official said the government had 51 potential exploration projects, including 14 projects for gold, 14 for copper that are covering about 1,351 square kilometers, possibly one of the first targeted projects.

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