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Press Dossier    By Date   19/03/2024 Saudi Arabia’s mining sector records 138% growth in exploitation licenses

Arab News, Tue, Mar 19, 2024 | Ramadan 9, 1445

​​Saudi Arabia’s mining sector records 138% growth in exploitation licenses

Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia’s mining sector is on an impressive upswing, recording a 138 percent increase in the issuance of exploitation licenses since the implementation of the new Mining Investment Law in 2021. 

The number of permits rose from eight in 2021 to 19 last year as the Saudi Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources actively works to boost mineral production and investment.  

The strategic shift is part of the Kingdom’s efforts to transform mining into a foundational industrial pillar. The Kingdom’s mineral wealth is valued at an estimated SR9.4 trillion ($2.4 trillion), according to a press release from the ministry. 

Data further revealed a surge in building materials quarry licenses, which rose from 158 in 2021 to 538 in 2023, and a leap in exploration licenses, from 58 to 259 during the same period.  

These increases, 241 percent and 347 percent, respectively, are propelled by strategic undertakings like the Accelerated Exploration Program initiative and more efficient licensing procedures.  

Saudi Arabia’s mining sector has been expanding both locally and internationally, with significant strides being made. 

In January, the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu signed a memorandum of understanding with Brazilian mining company Vale for the development of an iron ore briquettes project in the Kingdom. 

The MoU was signed on the sidelines of the two-day Future Minerals Forum, during which the Brazilian company disclosed its plans for the Middle East. 

The deal marked a key milestone in Vale’s journey in the region, spotlighting the upcoming state-of-the-art project in the Kingdom as a crucial part of its strategy to decarbonize the steelmaking industry. 

Speaking in a panel discussion titled “Making Africa, Western and Central Asia Processing and Manufacturing Hubs,” Vale CEO Eduardo Bartolomeo highlighted the technological innovations and advancements planned within the mega hub in Ras Al-Khair Industrial City.  

Vale said that its participation at the forum underscored the company’s pivotal role in the region’s sustainable mining sector, adding that it demonstrated a strong alignment with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 in an emphasis to its project in Ras Al-Khair and commitment to net-zero emissions.

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