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Value of untapped Saudi mineral resources jumps 90% to $2.50trln: Alkhorayef

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  • Saudi Arabia also plans to award over 30 mining exploration licenses to international investors this year

RIYADH — Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar Alkhorayef said that Saudi Arabia has revised upwards estimates for its untapped mineral resources to SR9.4 trillion ($2.5 trillion), from a forecast of SR4.9 trillion ($1.3 trillion) in 2016. This recorded an increase of 90 percent, thanks to the discoveries of rare earth elements and transition metals such as phosphate ore, zinc, and gold.

Alkhorayef said this while opening the 3rd Future Minerals Forum (FMF) at the King Abdulaziz International Convention Center in Riyadh on Wednesday. The forum is being held under the patronage of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman.

The minister stressed the Saudi leadership’s keenness to see the forum achieve success and desired goals, and thanked the leaders and decision makers in the industrial sector from various countries for taking part in the two-day event.

Alkhorayef said that 30 percent of the geological survey work in the Arabian Shield region was completed, and that the results will be available in the national geological database. The General Program for the Geological Survey Initiative aims to raise the quality of data and the accuracy of geological maps, to enhance and facilitate the exploration of mineral resources in the Kingdom, the minister noted.

In a statement earlier, Al-Khorayef said that 10 percent of the increase in estimate comes from the addition of rare earths minerals, important for electric vehicles and high-tech products. “We believe today that our reserves’ potential have now grown by 90 percent. This increase of $1.2 trillion is a combination of more of what we have, like phosphate, and new, like rare earths, and revaluation of commodities pricing,” he pointed out.

Saudi Arabia also plans to award over 30 mining exploration licenses to international investors this year, he said. “The Kingdom will announce a new regulation that allows the mining ministry to offer larger exploration areas of more than 2,000 kilometers for each license. One of the things we have heard from global players is that the size of the areas awarded is probably not as big as they want.” It is noteworthy that Riyadh has started awarding licenses to international miners in 2022.

© Copyright 2022 The Saudi Gazette. All Rights Reserved. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).


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