Saudi Arabia is striving to triple its spending on the exploration of metals over the next three years, according to Saudi Geological Survey CEO Abdullah Al-Shamrani.

The aim is to increase exploration spending to 220 per Saudi riyal per square metre within the next two to three years, local daily Arab News quoted the CEO as saying in a report originally published by Arabic language newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat

He said the number of mining sites in the Kingdom is likely to exceed 5,500, adding that together with traditional minerals like gold, silver and copper, the Kingdom is also focusing on minerals such as cobalt, lithium, titanium and rare earth used in renewable energy.

Saudi Arabia awarded 84 licenses, including 51 mineral exploration, in June 2022.

(Writing by P Deol; Editing by Anoop Menon)