The world’s largest oil exporter wants to put its economy on a broader footing and contribute to the energy transition.
Saudi Arabia is investing 182 million dollars in the exploration of minerals, as the Reuters news agency reports. The vast reserves of phosphate, gold, copper, and bauxite will be tapped. The Gulf state wants to diversify its economy, mainly based on oil and gas exports.
According to Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Governor of the Public Investment Fund, Saudi Arabia is currently conducting the world’s most extensive exploration program. At the Future Minerals Forum, which is now taking place in the Arab capital of Riyadh, he predicted a six-fold increase in global demand for metals by 2040. He emphasized the Kingdom’s role in the energy transition.
Saudi Arabia also plans to award 33 mining exploration licenses to international investors this year. The estimated value of the as-yet untapped domestic mineral potential has been raised by 90 percent to 2.5 trillion dollars, Arab News reports. According to Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar Alkhorayef, the correction is based on discoveries of rare earths, among other things.
Saudi Arabia also wants to cooperate more closely with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Morocco, and Russia in the raw materials sector; the state news agency SPA reports on signing corresponding declarations of intent as part of the Future Minerals Forum. As we reported, the kingdom aims to set up a trading platform for battery metals and rare earths.