Saudi Arabia can play a global role in providing the strategic minerals necessary for the transition to renewable energy, and achieving the goals of net zero emissions, said a report by the Payne Institute for Public Policy, affiliated with the Colorado School of Mines.
The report was published by the Institute on Thursday, in partnership with the International Mining Conference, the second edition of which will be hosted in Riyadh on Jan. 10-12.
According to the report, the world will likely face a shortage in the production of minerals that are needed for future developments, pointing out that Saudi Arabia is in a strong position that qualifies it to become a major player in the field of renewable energy.
It stressed the need to reach a long-term international agreement to make the most of the mineral resources available in the emerging region extending from Africa to West and Central Asia.
The report emphasized that the transition to clean energy economy depends on the supply of strategic minerals. It added that the sector is witnessing a significant growth in demand for minerals, such as lithium, nickel, cobalt, copper, graphite, silicon, platinum group metals and rare earth metals, which is expected to increase five-fold over the next two decades.
It explained that the new estimates indicate that more than 3 billion tons of strategic minerals will be needed to create the necessary infrastructure to achieve the 2050 goals and reach net zero emissions.
With regard to investments in the field of minerals, the report said despite the significant rise in investments throughout the Middle East in the field of hydrocarbons, the Kingdom plans to attract $32 billion in new investments in the mineral sector as part of its efforts to become a major player in the production of minerals worldwide.