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Buried alternatives in Saudi Arabia are valued at $1.3 trillion.

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The Wall Street Journal reported that Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, is accelerating its plans to launch new non-hydrocarbon production facilities.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Saudi officials are acquiring major mining companies to help develop the kingdom’s untapped mineral deposits, which could be worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

She added that the world’s fourth-largest net importer of minerals has a small domestic mining industry, despite estimates that its mineral wealth is worth more than $1.3 trillion.

Saudi Arabia is home to a rich subsoil of various minerals such as copper, zinc, phosphates, uranium and gold, and new exploration results are expected by 2027.

This week, Riyadh hosted the International Mining Conference, which was attended by about 7,000 participants from over 100 countries, including top managers from world-famous companies such as Rio Tinto PLC, BHP Group Ltd and Barrick Gold Corp.

Discussions focused primarily on expanding access to critical minerals to meet the needs of the clean energy transition.

“I think Saudi Arabia is well positioned in this area and has a competitive bid not only for upstream, downstream and downstream, but also manufacturing,” Prince Sultan Khalid Al Saud, CEO of Saudi Industrial Development, said Thursday.

On Thursday, the Saudi Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources revealed details of 6 mining opportunities in the Kingdom to international and local investors.

Investment opportunities include a number of exploration licenses for the Rudayneh property, which covers an area of ​​more than 78 square kilometers, which includes deposits of zinc and silver ore, and the Umm Hadid property, which covers an area of ​​more than 246 square kilometers and includes large reserves of silver, lead, zinc and copper, as well as the “Mount Edzas” site, with an area of ​​more than 121 square kilometers, including rich deposits of iron ore, and the “Omq Well” site in Medina with an area of ​​​​more than 187 square kilometers, including deposits of copper and zinc ore, as well as a site Mount Al-Sahaiba in the Asir region, which covers an area of ​​more than 283 square kilometers and includes deposits of zinc, lead, copper and iron, in addition to the Muhdad site, which covers an area of ​​139 square kilometers and contains mineral deposits of copper, zinc , gold and lead ores, according to the official news agency.

Saudi Arabia’s “surprise” $2 trillion bid to become a major player in the global mining industry is part of an ambitious program launched seven years ago by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, according to the newspaper.

The agenda, dubbed Vision 2030, aims to create new industries by improving the country’s business climate. These plans were launched in 2016 and are now halfway through implementation, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The loosening of strict social norms in recent years has boosted the tourism and entertainment industries, but Saudi officials say they see mining as the third pillar of the kingdom’s economy after oil and petrochemicals.

Notably, the Saudi government revised the mining investment law in 2021 after extensive consultation with industry participants and subsequently issued three exploration licenses in 2022, with another 5 licenses expected this year.

Source: Wall Street Journal.

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