RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 12, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Speaking on the opening day of the Future Minerals Forum (FMF) in Riyadh (from 9-11 January), His Excellency Khalid Al-Mudaifer, Vice-Minister for Mining Affairs, Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia used a panel appearance to tell the world that funding global mineral value chains urgently requires three factors: supply, policy and investment.
With the world having embarked on an ambitious decarbonization journey toward net-zero, he said, there are some challenges to be faced in supplying the volumes of critical minerals required for cleaner energy technologies.
His Excellency said that the world had spent two hundred years building the current energy system but has to build a new one in twenty.
The hardest part, he said, is that global investments in mining, refining, and smelting will need to increase to approximately $3 trillion by 2030, while around 300,000 to 600,000 mining professionals will be required. Aside from these challenges, vast amounts of power will be required, as will smooth permitting processes, infrastructure, equipment and water supply.
Mining is not a revenue play for Saudi Arabia, he said. Instead, the Kingdom sees mining as a way to create jobs, diversify economy, and increase exports. All revenues from the industry, including licensing fees, are reinvested back into the sector to support industry growth.
Turning to policy and investment, he talked of Saudi Arabia’s success in comprehensively revamping its mining investment law, creating an investor-friendly environment and resulting in a huge increase in the number of exploration licenses. The Kingdom has issued four times more licenses in the past three years than it has done in the previous six years.
Encouraging exploration, he said, is key to de-risking investment – the third challenge. With its world-class geological survey having currently mapped 30% of the entire Arabian Shield and with its new $182 million exploration incentive program, the Kingdom aims to support explorers and attract new investment in the exploration sector.
The Vice-Minister was joined on the panel by senior mining figures, including Jeremy Weir (CEO, Executive Chairman, Trafigura), Gareth Penny (Independent Non-Executive Director and Chairman, NinetyOne), Frank Giustra, (President and CEO, Fiore Group of Companies), H.E. Saad Al Khalb, (CEO, Saudi Exim Bank), Alec Machiels (Board Member, Traxys) and Tom Kendall (Managing Director, Global Head of Metals Sales and Origination, ICBC Standard Bank).
SOURCE Future Minerals Forum