Wealth from Saudi Arabia’s mining sector has topped $2.5 trillion, according to a report by the kingdom’s National Industrial and Mining Information Centre.

According to the report, 152 industrial licenses have been issued in the country since the beginning of 2023, which have contributed to bringing the total number of operating and under-construction factories in Saudi to 11,672 by the end of January 2024, the state press agency reported. These factories represent a combined investment of 1,539 trillion Saudi riyals.

To accelerate exploration and development, the report states the kingdom also invested SAR682.5 million ($182 million) in exploration incentives by the end of 2023.

Recent discoveries, including significant gold reserves along a 100km stretch in the Mansoura and Masara mines, have further bolstered the vast potential of Saudi Arabia’s mineral wealth, which have a projected annual production capacity of 250,000 ounces of gold, the report added.

In the report, Saudi’s Vice Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources for Mining Affairs, Khalid Al-Mudaifer, stated recent government initiatives to bolster the sector further include implementing programmes to create a business-friendly environment for mining development, enacting the Mining Investment Law to streamline the licensing process, minimising the environmental impact of mining operations, maximising benefits for local communities, and launching a comprehensive geological survey program to gather important data. 

The Saudi Industrial Development Fund has also played a role by financing advanced exploration and mining projects, which includes covering up to 75% of eligible project costs, Al-Mudaifer said.

Recently, the kingdom also launched the Saudi Mining Services Company (ESNAD) initiative to support the growth of mining investments by assisting mining directorates and developing robust monitoring and control procedures at mines.

As part of its Vision 2030 masterplan, Saudi Arabia is looking to maximise the mining sector’s contribution to the GDP, helping it reach SAR176 billion by 2030. 

(Writing by Bindu Rai, editing by Daniel Luiz )