Saudi Gazette reported that Saudi Arabia is accelerating its mineral resources development plan in an initiative that will facilitate the development of its mining sector.
Mr Sultan bin Jamal Shawli deputy Minister for Mineral Resources at Saudi Arabia’s Petroleum & Mineral Resources Ministry said that “The aim is to establish mining and its support services as the third pillar of the Saudi Arabian economy after hydrocarbons and petrochemicals. We have the minerals, the market and the potential to explore them. We are now turning to the private sector in the Kingdom and the world outside to help us achieve our ambitious goals.”
Dr Zohair A Nawab president of the Saudi Geological Survey, the Kingdom’s globally well respected minerals research and development agency based in Jeddah said that “Mineral deposits in Saudi Arabia are widespread and of many types, ranging from metallic and nonmetallic to lightweight aggregate. In the west, the Precambrian structure known as the Arabian Shield contains most of Saudi Arabia’s known metal deposits of gold, silver, copper, zinc, iron, and magnesium. East of the shield, the Phanerozoic zone contains oil resources and deposits of bauxite, phosphate, clay, limestone, silica sand, and lightweight aggregate that are of increasing importance to the industrial development of the kingdom. In total, these represent world class deposits.”
Mr Khalid S Al Mudaifer, president and CEO of the Saudi Arabian Mining Company, the Kingdom’s minerals and mining company said that “There is great potential in the Arabian Shield and an enormous diversity of minerals across the Kingdom. There is strong potential for further discoveries and these will require the application of modern techniques and a wide range of support services.”
Mr Al Mudaifer said that “The completion of Ma’aden Bauxite Mine, Alumina Refinery, Smelter and the Rolling Mill will be a historic moment for the minerals and mining industry of Saudi Arabia and the whole Middle East. It means Saudi Arabia will have the largest and most efficient vertically-integrated aluminum complex in the world. The projects are expected to support tens of thousands of jobs in downstream and support industries.”
He said that “We are exploring for and evaluating new mineral resources. We are evaluating the potential of several industrial minerals and base metal deposits. They include refractory clays, low-grade bauxite, kyanite, graphite, pure limestone, potash and iron ore. Base metals under consideration include copper, lead, zinc and nickel and copper deposits.”
Source – Saudi Gazette