Saudi Arabian Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources has announced plans to seek $32bn in investments in the mining and minerals sector

As part of the plan, the country intends to support the development of nine mining projects for midstream minerals and metals that aim to support the exportation of mineral products.

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According to Saudi Arabia Industry and Mineral Resources Minister Bandar bin al-Khorayef, the government, as part of this investment plan, is currently implementing a steel plate factory with an investment of more than $4bn, along with a $2bn factory for electric car battery input.

The steel plate factory will supply a shipbuilding factory in the King Salman International Complex for Maritime Industries and Services in Ras al-Khair.

It will be equipped to serve the shipbuilding, oil and gas, construction and defence sectors.

Furthermore, the country is implementing other projects for metals production, including aluminium, steel sheets, as well as a copper and zinc refinery.

A total of 145 applications from foreign companies are being assessed by the ministry for exploration licences.

According to Al-Khorayef, the investments form part of the country’s Vision 2030, which aims to make the mining sector the third pillar of the national industry in compliance with the objectives of the National Industrial Development and Logistics Programme.

The proposed investment is also aimed at helping the country diversify its economy away from oil.

Al-Khorayef was cited by Reuters as saying in a statement: “These targeted investments represent an important ‘down payment’ in our efforts to move beyond exploration and extraction and into the creation of integrated value chains, a central focus of our overall mining strategy.

“The investments will continue to position the Kingdom as a mining production and logistics hub for a region that stretches from Africa to Asia, while also supporting the transformation of our mining sector so it can achieve its potential.”