Natural Resources in Saudi Arabia Exceed $1.3 Trillion

Natural Resources in Saudi Arabia Exceed $1.3 Trillion

Tuesday, 6 February, 2018 - 11:15
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih during the “Bounties of our land” conference (Asharq Al-Awsat Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih during the “Bounties of our land” conference (Asharq Al-Awsat
Jeddah - Asmaa al-Ghaberi
Preliminary estimates indicate that the total value of mineral resources in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia exceeds $1.3 trillion, in addition to what can be achieved by transforming this wealth into value-added products, announced Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih.

Speaking at the inauguration of the 12th International Geological Conference on Sunday “Bounties of our land” in Jeddah, Falih discussed Saudi Arabia's progress in geosciences.

The conference has been organized by the Saudi Geological Survey (SGS) in cooperation with the Saudi Society for Geosciences. It was attended by the head of the SGS, Hussein al-Otaibi, and a number of local and international experts in geology.

The conference also discussed studies of earthquakes and volcanoes, ways of mitigating the damage caused by natural disasters and methods to reduce geological hazards, and studies in surveying and exploration of mineral resources.

“The strategy aims to increase the production of base metals and precious metals to 10 times the current production to put the Kingdom among the top 10 aluminum producers in the world," Falih indicated.

He said mineral wealth is very important in helping to achieve the goals set in Vision 2030. He also indicated that "Maaden" will be responsible for producing aluminum and phosphate, which will make Saudi Arabia the pioneer in renewable energy sources.

The minister said the SGS will organize and implement the comprehensive geological regional survey project over the next five years, adding that the results of the exploration will be placed in the national geological database.

Falih stressed Vision 2030 aims to make Saudi Arabia a global power in renewable energy, and the Kingdom has all the elements for success in that field.

“Our country is witnessing a giant transformation which requires doubling the size and diversity of the national economy, including the mining sector, to meet the increasing global and domestic demand for energy through the development and diversification of the energy mix, including traditional hydrocarbon sources as well as renewable energy sources and nuclear energy," concluded the minister.

Head of Metallophilical Department at SGS Zubin al-Harbi, confirmed there are several short and long-term plans for the exploitation of economically useful minerals, the pillar of mining in Saudi Arabia, and find local stable sources of minerals such as uranium, gold, copper, lead and zinc.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Harbi pointed out there are several indicators confirming Saudi Arabia has minerals with reserves and self-sufficiency, which qualifies the country to reach the export stage.

He added that, based on the evidence carried out by the Survey Authority, Saudi Arabia possesses large quantities of metals, pointing out that what was has been discovered so far comprises 50 per cent of the acutal amount underground.

The conference was attended by local and international experts who discussed the scientific progress made by Saudi Arabia in the field of geology of the earth sciences, as well as a series of research and studies in the field of mineral resources exploration and studies, earthquakes, volcanoes, and methods to reduce geological hazards.

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