Official data shows that Saudi Arabia gave out 21 new mining licences in October and 38 in November. This is part of the Vision 2030 plan to diversify the economy and grow the mining industry.
There are currently 2,201 mining exploration permits in the Kingdom, up from 2,164 in October.
According to information from the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, of the grants given out in November, 24 were for mineral exploration, 13 were for the construction materials industry, and one was for the manufacture of raw materials.
The information shows that there are now 1,371 licenses for building material quarries in the Kingdom, followed by 589 licenses for exploration, 172 permits for mining and mining exploitation, 36 requests for surveillance, and one mineral license with 33 licenses remaining.
Saudi Arabia is preparing to host the Future Minerals Forum 2023 from January 10 to 12 in Riyadh as its mining industry develops.
Seven thousand five hundred attendees, including ministers, business professionals, and thought leaders, will attend the meeting to discuss the prospects and difficulties the mining industry will face in the future.
Various academic articles about mining’s future and its reformation are also anticipated to be published by the forum.
The Riyadh region led the industry with 500 active licenses, followed by the Makkah region with 408 permits and the Eastern part with 371 licenses, according to the ministry’s study.
The Asir and Tabuk regions currently have 186 and 139 licenses, respectively, while the Madinah region has 236 licenses.
According to the report, Qassim has 101 mining licenses, followed by Hail with 72 licenses, Jazan with 69 permits, and Najran with 47 mining licenses.
There are now 25 mining licenses in the Northern Border zone, 24 in the Baha region, and 23 in the Al-Jouf region.
The growth of the mining industry is vital for Saudi Arabia as the country works to diversify its economy in line with Vision 2030 objectives.
Khalid Al-Mudaifer, vice-minister for mining affairs in the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, declared earlier in December at the Mines and Money conference in London that Saudi Arabia would overtake all other countries in the production of sustainable metals.
Khalid Al-Mudaifer also emphasized the importance of minerals in the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.
Speaking in November at the Saudi Green Initiative Forum alongside the UN’s Climate Change Conference in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Industry Bandar Al-Khorayef promised that his country would continue to “feed” opportunities to businesses looking to enter the estimated USD 1.3 trillion mining industry in the Kingdom.
Bandar Al-Khorayef added that in comparison to other countries, Saudi Arabia grants mining licenses in a concise amount of time.
Bandar Al-Khorayef claimed that while mining licenses are granted in Saudi Arabia within 90 to 180 days, the process takes years elsewhere.