Saudi Arabia Plans to Earn $75 Billion Annually from Mining by 2035

The Saudi Geological Survey reports that the mining sector’s goal is to increase its contribution to the GDP to 281 billion riyals ($75 billion USD) annually from 64 billion riyals ($17 billion USD) by 2035. It is estimated that the value of unexploited minerals is roughly 5 trillion royals ($1.3 trillion USD), this is considering that more minerals may be discovered.

In the last three years, the body has focused on the development and implementation of the regional geological survey program. This is a multi-disciplinary project whose first phase was launched in a geological area commonly referred to as the Arab Shield.

The projects’ objective is to achieve a better understanding of the mineral formations that are found in that region, which covers more than 600,000 km2. The regional geological survey program on the other hand, is an essential pillar needed for the economic growth that is projected in Vision 2030. The initiative, which cost 2 billion riyals ($533 million USD) aims to transform the Kingdom’s mining sector to the 3rd pillar of the industry.

To help achieve this objective, various implementation programs were developed. The most important of these programs is the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program. This program not only focuses on growing the Kingdom’s industry but also strives to make it a leading logistical platform in the world in four sectors; mining, industry, logistics and energy.

In addition to this, the program also incorporates the stages in the mining sector value chain, which include the regional geological survey program and its goals of information gathering and exploration.

Dr. Wadih Qashqari, who is the program’s leader, recently said in an interview that the survey program would assist experts from the Saudi Geological Survey to create a data set framework that would benefit both the Kingdom’s economy while also providing vital analysis and information on the geological nature of the domain.

He explained that geochemical surveys would collect surface samples from heavy metal concentrations and wadi sediments from the Arab Shield for chemical analysis while air geophysical surveys would collect geophysical data of the atmospheric interior of the Earth, through the use of digital techniques to measure radiative, magnetic, gravitational and electromagnetic fields.

On the other hand, regional geochemical surveys would be used to find chemical element concentrations and locate mineral evidence that would aid in mineral exploration while also attracting investment for the mining sector. The data collected by this survey is expected to divulge the locations of radioactive ores that can be utilized in the energy sector as well as new mineralization areas.

For the next six years though, 500 expert technicians who work in the Saudi Geological Survey will, in collaboration with internationally distinguished consultants and technical partners, collect crucial information that is of high quality using these surveys, which will then be added to the Kingdom’s geological database. This data will be made available to interested individuals and investors of the Kingdom’s mining sector, in a bid to secure more investments.

It would be enlightening to hear what seasoned mining companies like Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE American: UUUU) (TSX: EFR) have to say about Saudi Arabia’s ambitious plan to skyrocket their earnings from mining.

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