Untapped Saudi minerals valued at $1.33bln; only 8% extracted

Eng. Khalid Al-Mudaifer, deputy minister of industry and mineral resources for mining affairs, said that Saudi Arabia has so far extracted only about 7-8 percent of its huge deposits of mineral resources and the value of untapped mineral resources are estimated at about SR5 trillion.

He said that there are more than 80 types of minerals that are in various phases of gaining reliable knowledge about their stocks.

“This is preliminary information, taking into account that more mineral reserves may be discovered, as all the factors and data that attract investors to the mining sector will soon be available from within and outside the Kingdom,” he said.

He highlighted that it is difficult to fully count the number of minerals in the Kingdom, but work is continuous with geological surveys.

Al-Mudaifer said the aerial geophysical survey of the Arabian Shield region, which started on Tuesday, would be implemented in three phases over a period of six years.

“The first of which is for three years, and includes most of the area of the Arab Shield, while the second phase lasts for two years, and covers approximately one-third of the area of the Arab Shield, and the third and last one has a duration of one year, covering some regions targeted for study and data collection,” he said.

Al-Mudaifer said that the aerial geophysical survey of the Arab Shield, which covers an area of up to 600,000 square kilometers, aims to process, analyze and interpret the high-resolution geophysical data of the Arab Shield in various ways, including radiometric magnetism, spectral radioactivity and electromagnetism.

The minister noted that 352 mining licenses were issued under the new Mining Investment Law, bringing the total number of mining licenses issued to 1,816, while requests for mining licenses reached 1,311 to date.

“As far as building materials quarry licenses are concerned, about 749 applications were studied, and until mid-August, 196 licenses had been issued. As for exploration licenses, 530 applications were studied and 126 licenses were issued.”

With regard to mining licenses, 17 applications were studied, and the ministry has issued 274 licenses since the beginning of this year, including eight licenses whose average investments are estimated at SR250 million, he said.

Al-Mudaifer pointed out that there are efforts to reach SR115 billion as a cumulative target by 2025, and the volume of current investments in the mining sector is estimated between SR170 billion and SR180 billion, and it is expected that investments will double by 150 percent until 2030.

Last Tuesday, Al-Mudaifer inaugurated the first geophysical survey aircraft in Al-Dawadmi governorate in the Riyadh region, announcing the start of geophysical survey work in the Arab Shield region.


Source: https://www.zawya.com/mena/en/business/story/Untapped_Saudi_minerals_valued_at_133bln_only_8_extracted-SNG_238408110/


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