I Executive Article I
“During this extensive review, we’ve focused on how we might improve the journey of potential investors across the entire Saudi mining value chain and supply chain. I am excited to share the tremendous progress we have made in bringing a world class investment opportunity to explorers and investors,” he told audiences at the conference.”
His Excellency Khalid Al-Mudaifer,
Vice Minister- Mining Affairs,
Saudi Arabia’s mining industry now offers significant new investment opportunities following several new initiatives which have greatly improved the sector’s global competitiveness.
This was according to His Excellency, the Vice Minister for Mining Affairs, Khalid Al-Mudaifer, who provided a keynote address at the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) Online on Tuesday 24 November. The Vice Minister was just one of numerous delegates speaking at the conference, alongside representatives from the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, the Saudi Ministry of Investment (MISA), the National Industrial Development Centre (NIDC), the Saudi Geological Survey (SGS), National Industrial Development & Logistics Program (NIDLP) and Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF).
Al-Mudaifer highlighted the Kingdom’s recent steps to create an attractive environment for mining sector investors through legislative change, new regulations, process digitization and the recent launch of an ambitious mineral exploration program.
“During this extensive review, we’ve focused on how we might improve the journey of potential investors across the entire Saudi mining value chain and supply chain. I am excited to share the tremendous progress we have made in bringing a world class investment opportunity to explorers and investors,” he told audiences at the conference.
For the past several years, the Kingdom’s reform plan, Saudi Vision 2030, has aimed to transform the mining sector into the third pillar of Saudi industry alongside petroleum and petrochemicals.
In recent months, major strides have been taken in de-risking the investor experience through intra-ministerial collaboration and partnerships with global partners and consultants. During the IMARC, Saudi Arabian Government Country Focus, delegates from various mining initiatives within the Kingdom provided their insights into the development of the sector.
The launch of the National Geological Database reflects the Kingdom’s dedication to transparency; it currently offers over 80 years of geological data for public viewing, with new datasets becoming available as a result of the recently launched Regional Geological Survey Program (RPG). During the six-year program, several hundred Saudi geologists will be assisted by international experts to gather geological data over 600,000 sq kms of the Arabian Shield, believed to hold untapped potential mineral wealth of up to $1.3 trillion.
As well, a comprehensive legal review led to the development of a new Saudi Mining Investment Law which will come into full effect in January 2021. It clarifies the rights and responsibilities of investors, the inclusion of local communities and the expectations for environmental protection. To support a streamlined and transparent licensing process, new registries have been launched which publish all application details online.
For further ease of access, digital platforms like TAADIN have been developed and are already operating to allow potential investors to apply and renew their mining licenses online, significantly cutting down on administrative processing time.
Reforms and initiatives like these have improved the ease of doing business in Saudi Arabia and earned the country a spot in this year’s list of ‘top ten global business climate improvers’ according to the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report.