Saudi Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar Alkhorayef said Friday that the ministry has a goal to attract investments worth $32 billion to its mining and minerals sector through nine new projects.
The projects are aimed at supporting supplies of mineral products to local and international markets.
Alkhorayef added that the ministry is currently studying 145 applications for exploration licenses from foreign companies.
The ministry has secured $6 billion for a steel plate mill complex and electric vehicle battery metals plant, he revealed.
The Kingdom is seeking to diversify its economy away from oil under its national transformation plan, Vision 2030, initiated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense. Mining is one of the sectors that has been identified for expansion.
The nine projects include a $4 billion steel plate mill complex for the shipbuilding, oil and gas, construction and defense sectors and a green flat steel complex that will supply the automotive, food packaging, machinery and equipment, and other industrial sectors. Both projects are already underway, as is a $2 billion EV battery metals plant.
Alkhorayef said the projects would create over 14,000 jobs.
“These targeted investments represent an important 'down payment' in our efforts to move beyond exploration and extraction and into the creation of integrated value chains, a central focus of our overall mining strategy,” said the minister.
“The investments will continue to position the Kingdom as a mining production and logistics hub for a region that stretches from Africa to Asia, while also supporting the transformation of our mining sector so it can achieve its potential,” he added.
AlKhorayef stressed that the investments are aligned with Vision 2030 and are made in cooperation with the Ministry of Investment and the Ministry of Energy.
They seek making the mining sector the third pillar of the national industry in accordance with the objectives of the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program (NIDLP).