Saudi Arabia’s mineral wealth estimated at $2.4 trillion

Exploitation licenses in the Kingdoms mining sector soared by 138 percent
Saudi Arabia’s mineral wealth estimated at $2.4 trillion
Saudi Arabia's mining sector is making significant strides locally and internationally

The mining sector in Saudi Arabia has experienced remarkable growth, with a 138 percent increase in the issuance of exploitation licenses since the implementation of the new Mining Investment Law in 2021. The Saudi Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources has actively worked towards boosting mineral production and investment, resulting in the number of permits rising from eight in 2021 to 19 last year.

This strategic shift is part of Saudi Arabia’s broader efforts to establish mining as a foundational industrial pillar. The country’s mineral wealth, estimated at SAR9.4 trillion ($2.4 trillion), makes this sector highly valuable, as stated in a press release from the ministry.

Read more: Saudi Arabia’s industrial production index up 0.3 percent in January on mining and quarrying

The data also reveals significant growth in building materials quarry licenses, which increased from 158 in 2021 to 538 in 2023. Additionally, there was a substantial leap in exploration licenses, rising from 58 to 259 during the same period. These increases, amounting to 241 percent and 347 percent, respectively, can be attributed to strategic initiatives like the Accelerated Exploration Program and more efficient licensing procedures.

Expansion of Saudi Arabia’s mining sector

Saudi Arabia’s mining sector has been expanding both domestically and internationally, achieving notable milestones. 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 within the Kingdom. This agreement was reached during the two-day Future Minerals Forum, where Vale disclosed its plans for the Middle East.

The partnership with Vale represents a significant step for the company in the region, highlighting the upcoming state-of-the-art project in Saudi Arabia as a crucial component of Vale’s strategy to decarbonize the steelmaking industry. During a panel discussion titled “Making Africa, Western and Central Asia Processing and Manufacturing Hubs,” Vale CEO Eduardo Bartolomeo emphasized the technological innovations and advancements planned for the mega hub in Ras Al-Khair Industrial City.

Vale expressed that its participation at the forum underscores its pivotal role in the region’s sustainable mining sector, demonstrating strong alignment with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. This emphasizes its commitment to the Ras Al-Khair project and achieving net-zero emissions.

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