Farhan Al Shammari*
Mining in Saudi Arabia

The process of extracting minerals from the earth is known as mining. It is an essential sector of the world economy, supplying raw materials to numerous other sectors. 

Ferrous metals like iron, copper, and nickel, non-ferrous metals like gold, silver, and diamonds, and fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas are among the minerals that are extracted in the mining sector.

There are two main methods of extracting minerals: 

• Surface mining 

• underground mining. 

In surface  mining, a layer of earth is removed to expose mineral deposits then extracted using excavators and other machines.

In underground mining, a hole is dug into the ground to access mineral deposits. The minerals are then extracted using miners and mine devices.

With an estimated mining wealth of up to 1.3 trillion dollars, the mining sector is deemed the third pillar of the economy and industry after oil and petrochemicals (Vision 2030). 

As a result, there is a great focus on attracting investments to the sector, particularly since it provides raw materials for many of the industries that the Kingdom has localized, like cars, aeronautical and other sectors. This highlights the significance of the mining industry for the Kingdom. 

At the global level, the mining sector is witnessing high demand, as in 2021,100 regulations were issued by countries regulating the export of critical minerals. 

It is worth noting that the region that extends from Africa to West and Central Asia contains most of the world’s minerals, but the volume of investment in it does not exceed 12% of the volume. Here in the Kingdom within three years, the number of mining company permits climbed by 200%.

The Third International Mining Conference, an annual worldwide gathering that explores and tackles the demands and difficulties of the mining industry as well as potential solutions, was conducted in Riyadh on January 9, 2024. There were 250 speakers in direct dialogue sessions and 145 countries represented.

The Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, Bandar Al-Khorayef, said at the event that the mining wealth had been reviewed after the exploration process had covered more than 700,000 square kilometers of the Kingdom. This suggests that the mining wealth may have increased and that the Kingdom is about to enter a new phase that will support and grow the Saudi mining sector.


* Farhan Hassan Al Shammari

Twitter: @farhan_939

E-mail: fhshasn@gmail.com

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