Saudi Arabia is using its investment power to create a more diverse and sustainable economy through its Vision 2030 initiative. This includes transforming Saudi Arabia into a major industrial powerhouse and global logistics hub by maximizing the value of its mining and energy sectors, as well as maximizing its local content and 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) potential. It includes changing.
But we are not doing this alone, we are working with other governments and the broader mining sector to help achieve this goal. His one of these country partners is South Africa. Saudi Arabia and South Africa have some things in common. First and foremost, both countries are great powers and developed countries. South Africa has an area of 1.22 million km², while Saudi Arabia has an area of 2.15 million km², almost twice as large. Both also play an important economic role in their respective regions and thus have a significant impact on neighboring countries. Both also face challenges with commodities such as water.
Khalid Al-Mudaifer, Deputy Minister for Mining at Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Industry and Natural Resources, Speaks at His Mining Indaba
But there are also big differences. South Africa now has a population over her 60 million, and Saudi Arabia her 36.4 million. There is also a big difference in mining. South Africa has one of the world’s largest and longest-running mechanized mining industries and remains a major producer of diamonds and gold, as well as a top spot for chromium, manganese, platinum and vanadium. . Yes, there are social and political challenges, but mining remains the largest industry. Minerals are also relatively well researched. In terms of technology, services, finance and investment, South Africa has a significant impact on the mining sector of neighboring countries such as Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Saudi Arabia’s economy is still oil-dominated and its modern mining industry is relatively young, but state-owned mining company Maaden has made big strides in sectors such as phosphates, gold and bauxite, as well as other groups such as AMAK. We are making progress. However, much of Saudi Arabia remains relatively untapped compared to South Africa when it comes to mineral exploration.
All of this, of course, reflects the country’s desire to rapidly grow its mining industry, as evidenced by the highly successful second Future Minerals Forum and ministerial-level roundtable held in January this year. It is being tackled with great impetus by And this has led to new contracts, JVs and investments from some of the world’s leading miners such as Barrick, Ivanhoe Mines and ERG.
About 62 countries attended the Ministerial Roundtable of the Future Minerals Forum in January 2023.
Speaking at the Mining Indaba, Khalid Al-Mudaifer, Deputy Minister for Mining, Ministry of Industry and Natural Resources, Saudi Arabia, said delegations from 62 countries were present at the roundtable, with 22,000 delegates participating in person and virtually. I pointed out that I joined the forum. Africa was the most prominent among them.
sustainable mining growth
Saudi Arabia wants to sustain rapid mining growth. Al-Mudaifer told his Mining Indaba:
“Environmental, Social and Governance, he ESG for short, will be more mature in 2023.
We will see smarter actions and more transparent reporting. This is important because investors choose to work with jurisdictions that are doing the right thing for people and the environment. This means a rapid increase in decarbonization efforts in our sector. Our focus must be on helping achieve net zero while enabling a just and just transition across the economy. ”
He added that mining and net zero go hand in hand.
“There will be no energy transition without sourcing more minerals from sustainable sources. It is clear that we are unable to produce the final product required for this purpose.
Saudi Arabia’s own Green Initiative aims to bring together environmental protection, energy transitions and innovative sustainability programs to achieve a greener future. This is happening with mining growth.
Great win for both parties
When it comes to mining, Saudi Arabia has something to learn from South Africa, both in being a regional mining and mining investment hub and in having a well-developed downstream industry with the production of value-added end products. there are a lot of. Metal from mined ore. It was therefore very fitting that a large delegation from Saudi Arabia attended the Mining Indaba event in Cape Town this year. This included a team from the Saudi Ministry of Industry and Natural Resources, as well as numerous representatives from the Saudi Geological Survey, Ma’aden, and the IT and technology conglomerate Al-Rushaid Group.
But of course, South Africa has an advantage when it comes to sharing knowledge. For example, in Mining Indaba, Al-Rushaid has entered into partnership agreements with South African companies including MSA Group, a leading provider of exploration, geology, mineral resources and reserves estimation, mining and environmental consulting services. A partnership was also agreed with the Master Drilling Group, one of the world’s largest mine drilling and drilling service providers. Other agreements were put in place with WH Auctioneers, Africa’s fastest-growing industrial asset and property auctioneers, and Geopractica, a specialist in providing geotechnical solutions.
Saudi conglomerate Al-Rushaid recently signed a partnership agreement with Master Drilling in South Africa, whose expertise includes mobile tunnel boring for mine development
Saudi Arabia’s leading mining company, Ma’aden, was also looking for new partnerships and cooperation. In his keynote, CEO Bob Wilt stated:
“We will be looking for partners to help us deliver on our exploration, technology and innovation and sustainability goals. We look forward to working more closely with the wider mining ecosystem and forming mutually beneficial strategic partnerships.”
And Saudi Arabia’s mining investment will not be limited to the MENA region. Al-Mudaifer reminded the Mining Indaba attendees that during the Future Minerals Forum, a new joint venture was announced between the Saudi Public Investment Fund and Ma’aden. With an initial funding of $3.2 billion, the new company will invest in international mining assets with a focus on metals and minerals critical to the energy transition, including iron ore, copper, nickel and lithium. This includes investments in Africa. Saudi companies are already very active in Africa, including South Africa, including oil and gas giant Aramco, but also many service companies.
In a discussion with his IM his at the show in Cape Town, Al-Mudaifer said:
“South Africa has a wealth of mining experience and that is one of the reasons we came to Mining Indaba to learn from their experience and meet world-class service providers and centers of excellence such as the Geological Society of South Africa. Saudi Arabia already has world-class infrastructure and strong domestic and regional demand, a workforce with heavy industry experience through the oil and gas sector, good relationships with major engineering companies and free ports, and a favorable tax environment. I have. We believe we have a plan and vision to become the hub of our region with the support of the government. “
He added that relations between the two countries are already very good.