Saudi Arabia is set to play a major global role in the supply of precious minerals needed to power the transition to green energy to reach the goal of net zero carbon emissions, according to a paper released by the US-based Payne Institute for Public Policy at the Colorado School for Mines.
“This is an exciting time for critical minerals and the Kingdom could find itself in a powerful position to become a major clean energy player, lying in the middle of the vast mineral-rich super-region stretching from Africa to Central Asia,” the paper said.
The topic will be in focus at the Future Minerals Forum in Riyadh next month, as critically precious minerals are needed to power clean energy products such as electric vehicles, computers, smartphones, solar panels, microchips and wind farms.
The institute said that governments, companies, and communities will all have to work together to re-think how to extract and use minerals and provide resilient and sustainable mineral supply chains.
However, any economic switch from hydrocarbons to clean energy will take decades.
Saudi Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources has said it is essential to work closely with many partners to build stable markets, ensuring that the minerals industry is transparent, fair and highly collaborative.
Despite a significant rise in investment across the Middle East in hydrocarbons, Saudi Arabia plans to attract investments worth $32 billion to become a major player in global mining production.
"Saudi Arabia is in a strong position to convene dialogue about how best to uncover the mineral riches of the super-region," the institute stated.

(Writing by P Deol; Editing by Anoop Menon)