In his speech during the opening of the conference, His Excellency welcomed the attendees and participants, wishing them a pleasant stay, and an exit from this conference to achieve everyone’s aspirations.
His Excellency said: “The challenge of meeting the growing global demand for minerals has become clear as a result of trends in the fields of advanced industry, clean energy and zero carbon ambitions, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, through the International Mining Conference, which is launched under the title “The Future of Minerals”, aims to contribute to responding to the needs of the mining sector. Future mining by bringing together multiple stakeholders, including governments, investors, financial institutions, service providers, and manufacturers, and providing a platform for cooperation between them to draw a future roadmap, aimed at achieving sustainable development for our societies and economies by expanding the circle of contribution of this important and promising sector, and we have today A great opportunity to contribute to the provision of vital minerals and to benefit from the mining sector to be a major economic engine in the countries of the region, especially as they face the same challenges of the need to increase exploration, provide adequate infrastructure, and attract quality investments, and let us all seize this opportunity, and push to achieve Sustainable development of mining in our countries and the entire region.
Mr. Al-Khorayef explained that the launch of the conference comes as a sense from the Kingdom’s government of the importance of the mining sector in the world, its impact on economic recovery, and its significant impact on the future of many industries that represent a great priority, and enter into the details of our daily lives, by working to highlight the great and promising potentials in the field of mining The minerals and mining industries that the Middle East, West and Central Asia, and Africa enjoy, and the Kingdom occupies a strategic position among these countries combined.
He stated that the Kingdom is witnessing a major transformation at various levels with the launch of Vision 2030, which was keen on expanding the economic base, achieving economic diversification, and focused on developing the mining sector through one of the largest programs to achieve the vision, the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program, which aims to transform the Kingdom into A leading industrial power and a global logistical platform, and that mining is the third pillar of the national industry, indicating that the value of the mineral wealth in the Kingdom is estimated at more than 1.3 trillion dollars, including phosphate and bauxite minerals in the northeast, gold, copper and rare earth deposits in the Arabian Shield in the west of the Kingdom.
And he indicated that the Kingdom has worked to find regulations and legislation that contribute to the growth of the mining sector and attract qualitative investments in it, starting with the new mining investment system, which is characterized by high transparency, and contributes to strengthening and developing societies, reducing and protecting the environment, and stimulating industries related to minerals, leading to achieving a stimulating environment. It takes into account the needs of mining investments that require large capital, a long investment outlook, their need for stability of regulations and legislation, and clarity of financial policies to ensure that risks are reduced for this type of investment, and is able to achieve the desired effect.
His Excellency the Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources revealed that the ministry, in order to achieve its objectives in the mining sector, has achieved many gains, most notably the start of the new mining investment system, the launch of an electronic “mining” platform, to provide geological data, facilitate the procedures for issuing mining licenses and launch the national database. The launch of the Accelerated Exploration Initiative, to conduct surveys, evaluate strategic mineral sites, explore and develop promising mineral areas, and establish a mining services company with the aim of upgrading the services provided to the sector and enhancing its competitiveness, achieving compliance and sustainability requirements.
And he indicated that the number of mining licenses amounted to (1967) licenses for exploration, detection, and exploitation of various mineral ores, 25% of which were issued during 2021, indicating that the number of reserved complexes and mineral reserve areas reached (431) sites, stressing that the ministry is working on many other initiatives. As support for exploration, and the establishment of a center of excellence in the mining industries, it set ambitious targets to raise the mining sector’s contribution to the GDP from $17 billion, to $64 billion by 2030.