Saudi Arabia - NEOM wants to convince the world that mining can be done in a sustainable manner, according to the CEO of the megacity being built on Saudi Arabia’s northwest Red Sea coast.

Speaking at the Future Minerals Forum in Riyadh on Thursday, Nadhmi Al-Nasr said that the $500 billion project is starting with “no legacy” when it comes to excavations, but has ambitions to bring “technology and innovation” to the sector.

He acknowledged that mining has a bad reputation, saying: “No matter what we do, mining perception is not good enough yet.”

Al-Nasr added: “We are digging into technology and innovation and the call for how can we bring aboard a green full chain mining from the mining field all the way to export and in-between industry.”

He went on to argue that "it is time for the mining industry to compete with the oil industry" as he called for the sector to move to "the next era."

"Oil has made the big move to move to the next generation we need the same in the mining sector," said Al-Nasr.

NEOM will be powered entirely by clean energy and will cover 10,000 square miles, an area 33 times the size of New York.

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