Saudi Arabia’s Foray into Critical Metals Bodes Well for Energy Transition

Following a slew of investments in mining facilities and companies, Saudi Arabia has ventured into the critical metals market. Investments in this market are crucial for advancing the development of world-class mining assets. The country’s latest deal is valued at $2.6 billion and involves the biggest mining company in Brazil, a move that may cement its place in this billion-dollar market.

The deal is a joint venture between Ma’aden, the state mining company and the nation’s sovereign wealth fund. It will see Saudi Arabia purchase a 10% stake in the base metals’ division of Vale S.A., which has an estimated value of $26 billion. Vale CEO Eduardo Bartolomeo stated that these investments uniquely positioned the company to meet the increasing demand for green metals, which are necessary for the global transition to clean energy, while remaining committed to sustainable mining and strong social and environmental practices.

Saudi Arabia’s other investments include a power and gas allocation to EV Metals Arabia from the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Energy and the allocation of 127 hectares of land from the Royal Commission at Yanbu.

Robert Wilt, Ma’aden CEO and the executive director of Manara Minerals, stated that these investments will strengthen the position of the mining sector as the third pillar of Saudi’s economy. They will also create employment opportunities and support local industrial development. Wilt adds that this brings the country closer to achieving its Vision 2030.

Sources say this metals deal may close in early 2024 once it has received regulatory approval. Once this is done, Vale S.A. will scale up its mining capacity for nickel and copper, which are both crucial in the manufacture of electric vehicles. The company will also invest billions into new projects in Brazil, Indonesia and Canada.

This joint venture will afford Saudi Arabia access to high-quality supply chains across the critical minerals market, including cobalt, copper and nickel, and in turn support the growth of the country’s mining sector.

It is expected that later this year, the Electric Vehicles Metals investment will see a $905 million battery chemicals complex in the country. The kingdom is also set to purchase 100,000 electric cars over a 10-year period.

Michael Naylor, EVM Group CEO and EVM Arabia chair, added that Saudi’s investments met the demand for high-purity chemicals from battery cell and electric vehicle manufacturers locally as well as from target markets in North America and Europe seeking transparent supply chains.

Other extraction companies such as First Tellurium Corp. (CSE: FTEL) (OTCQB: FSTTF) are also looking to strengthen the supply chains of critical metals in North America. This puts the region on a firm path to self-sufficiency and reduced dependence on China as the years go by.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to First Tellurium Corp. (CSE: FTEL) (OTCQB: FSTTF) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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