The world will need to increase the production of some types of minerals by 500% to meet the future demand for clean energy, according to Saudi Vice Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources for Mining Affairs Khalid Saleh Al-Mudaifer.
Saudi Arabia has become one of the most prominent countries in the field of producing phosphate fertilizers, with potential reserves of phosphate amounting to 7.3 billion tons, revealed Al-Mudaifer.
Al-Mudaifer made the remarks during the Mines and Money conference in London.
The vice minister further explained that minerals are indispensable for achieving the process of energy transition to renewable sources, which requires expanding the scope of finds and increasing production.
The World Bank estimated that there is a need for more than 3 billion tons of minerals and metals.
By 2050, the world will need to increase the production of minerals such as “graphite, lithium, cobalt, and copper” by about 500% to meet the future demand for clean energy technologies.
Al-Mudaifer highlighted the advances that Saudi Arabia has already made in its mining industry. As he noted, the significant potential for the Kingdom largely lies in precious and base metals—including gold, zinc, copper, and silver in addition to a few specialty metals such as niobium and tantalum.
In terms of phosphate fertilizer production alone, Al-Mudaifer stated that Saudi Arabia has already become the world leader. Estimates for total phosphate reserves vary from approximately 2.3 billion to almost 7.3 billion tons.
He stated that the Kingdom stabilized aluminum markets by building an industrial city that focuses on extracting and producing final products for the world. Moreover, the Kingdom is working with well-known electric vehicle manufacturers such as Lucid Motors and automotive sector suppliers such as EV Metals to build an integrated electric vehicle manufacturing complex.
Al-Mudaifer further pointed to important projects such as the Kingdom’s work in hydrogen, with the Kingdom creating the largest green hydrogen plant in the world. Additionally, 8 months ago, it announced a $5 billion project that – from a standing start – is expected to produce up to 250,000 tons, by 2026.