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NEOM CEO Reveals Digital Endeavors in Transforming Mining into a Clean Industry

NEOM CEO Reveals Digital Endeavors in Transforming Mining into a Clean Industry

Friday, 14 January, 2022 - 07:15
A view of a panel discussion at the Future Minerals Forum held in Riyadh on Thursday. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

The Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones (Modon) revealed that more than 1,290 factories are now producing mineral products in Saudi industrial cities.

CEO of the NEOM project, Nadhmi Al-Nasr confirmed that the megacity being built on Saudi Arabia’s northwest Red Sea coast had achieved tremendous digital achievements that have transformed mining, making it ready to be a clean industry.

Speaking at the Future Minerals Forum in Riyadh on Thursday, Nadhmi Al-Nasr said that the $500 billion project is starting with “no legacy” when it comes to excavations, but has ambitions to bring “technology and innovation” to the sector.

He acknowledged that mining has a bad reputation, saying: “No matter what we do, mining perception is not good enough yet.”

Al-Nasr added: “We are digging into technology and innovation and the call for how can we bring aboard a green full chain mining from the mining field all the way to export and in-between industry.”

He went on to argue that “it is time for the mining industry to compete with the oil industry” as he called for the sector to move to “the next era.”

“Oil has made the big move to move to the next generation we need the same in the mining sector,” said Al-Nasr.

NEOM will be powered entirely by clean energy and will cover 10,000 square miles, an area 33 times the size of New York.

In other news, Modon said that the number of factories of mineral products at its industrial cities increased to more than 1,290 by the end of 2020.

The remarks were made on the sidelines of Modon’s participation in the Future Minerals Forum.

Modon reviewed the structure of mineral industries in the industrial cities, and the services and products that contribute to enhancing the role of the private sector in the economic development.

Modon CEO Eng. Khalid Al-Salem said the industrial cities that Modon supervises boast an advanced service system, and stimulating operational and procedural elements that made them an incubating environment for local and international investments of added value, as part of its strategy to empower industry and contribute to increasing the local content in line with the Saudi Vision 2030.

Al-Salem noted that the western sector, which includes 15 industrial cities, is the biggest host of mineral products factories with a total of 487 factories, including 168 factories for non-metals and 319 factories for molded minerals except machinery and equipment.

He added that the second biggest host is the central sector with 12 industrial cities that boast a total of 446 factories, including 189 for non-metals and 257 factories for molded minerals except machinery and equipment.

The third biggest host is the eastern sector with nine industrial cities that boast a total of 364 factories, including 96 for non-metals and 268 factories for molded minerals except machinery and equipment.

Al-Salem noted that the increased turnout of investment in the industrial cities is attributed to Modon’s integration with the structure of industry and mineral resources and the public and private sectors to create a comprehensive industrial community that keeps pace with the sustainable development requirements in the Kingdom.

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