Saudi Arabia is set to capitalise on its untapped multimillion-dollar mineral reserves to attract more investments and create a production and manufacturing hub for minerals.

As part of its diversification strategy under Vision 2030, the kingdom looks to establish itself as a “major global centre” for minerals production and manufacturing, said Khalid bin Saleh Al-Mudaifer, the Vice Minister of the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources for Mining Affairs.

The government official issued the statement at the Global Metals, Mining and Critical Minerals Conference held in Miami, the state-owned Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Wednesday.

Saudi Arabia recently said that its mineral reserves are now valued at $2.5 trillion, which is double the $1.3 trillion it estimated in 2016.

Al-Mudaifer stressed that given the amount of untapped mineral resources in Saudi Arabia and its strategic location, the kingdom is an ideal place to act as an “integrator” for the wider region to support the creation of solid mineral value chains.

He said the Gulf state has already taken several steps to develop the mining sector and implemented some initiatives, including the issuance of the Mining Investment Law that facilitates licenses and reduction of mining operations’ environmental impact, among others.

He said the kingdom has also been working to lure more foreign investments by providing incentives and encouraging institutional investors to finance mineral exploration and production.

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Brinda Darasha)