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Saudi Arabia keen to become international hub for green minerals processing: minister

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has set policies and built infrastructure to become a regional and global hub for green minerals processing, said Vice Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources for Mining Affairs Khalid bin Saleh Al-Mudaifer.

The Kingdom will achieve this by utilizing its strategic position, advanced infrastructure, and high local demand, Al-Mudaifer said in a speech at the Middle East and North Africa Climate Week (MENACW) 2023 held in Riyadh.

The Kingdom aims to secure the minerals necessary to achieve national industrial transformation, Al-Mudaifer said, adding that such efforts aim to ensure global transformation towards a greener future.

The minister said that the sharp growth in demand for minerals supports the transition toward clean energy, which faces several challenges. He added that these challenges include discovering and developing new resources, which can be 2 to 10 times the current production capacities.

Additionally, the minister said there is a need to expedite the issuance of new mine permits while mitigating the impact of mining and processing operations on communities and the environment.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is committed to transitioning to green energy, as reflected in developing a mining and mineral industries strategy designed to address critical challenges, including stimulating early-stage exploration financing, said Al-Mudaifer.

He added that the strategy also aims to ensure the availability and reliability of geological data, promote innovation and technology to enhance sustainability and productivity and ensure timely mineral production.