Saudi Arabia wants to attract $170 billion in investment in its mining sector by the end of the decade, tapping into growing global demand for metals crucial for the energy transition. “That’s a lot of money,” Saudi Mines Minister Bandar Alkhorayef said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Riyadh. Minerals are “becoming increasingly essential to the advancement of manufacturing, energy” and industries, including automotive.
Investment will come from foreign and local companies, including the state mining company Maaden. It is expected to see the sector’s contribution to gross domestic product reach $64 billion annually by 2030, he said, more than four times the current figure of $17 billion.
Mining is a crucial part of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s attempt to diversify the economy away from oil. However, development has been slow since the kingdom announced in 2018 that its minerals were likely worth $1.3 trillion.
State-owned mining company Maaden said last year it would invest a “huge amount” of metals for batteries. Alkhorayef’s comments come as traders warn the world could run out of the metals needed to build electric vehicles, as well as solar and wind power plants.
The prices of raw materials such as copper, zinc and nickel have increased significantly in recent weeks. On Thursday, the Saudi ministry announced it would sell exploration licenses to foreign investors for the first time. T
The sale will involve deposits of copper, zinc, gold, silver and lead about 200 kilometers from Riyadh, the capital. The area will require about 2 billion riyals ($530 million) of investment and contains about 26 million tonnes of ore, which foreign investors would own 100%, said Abdulrahman AlBelushi, director general of the mining strategy department. of the ministry.