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Saudi energy minister reveals minerals discovery boom in key Future Minerals Forum address
RIYADH: Uranium and titanium have been discovered in “significant quantities” in Saudi Arabia, according to the Kingdom’s energy minister as he set out the government’s plans to be a global leader in the mining sector.
Speaking at the Future Minerals Forum in Riyadh, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman talked up the expansions of Saudi Arabia’s mission in developing renewable energy, as well as the Kingdom’s ambition to become a global hub for green metal industries which will lead to more investment in the sector.
He also stated that the Kingdom has an abundance of metals and minerals now greatly in demand in the world and is developing the structure and partnerships that can exploit them to the best advantage.
“Recent explorations of activities showed a diverse portfolio of uranium in different geological locations within the Kingdom such as Jabal Saeed, Madinah, Jabal Qariah in the north,” said the minister, adding: “Along with uranium, rare minerals such as titanium have been identified in significant quantities in the Kingdom, unlocking even greater investment opportunities.”
During a fireside chat, Prince Abdulaziz discussed his aim of utilizing the second edition of the FMF as a “stage for us as Saudi Arabia to reconfigure the perception of Saudi Arabia.”
He went on: “Saudi Arabia is of course a leading global oil industry and we are well on the way to becoming a global leader in all forms of clean energy encompassing hydrocarbons, renewable and clean hydrogen to complement our artificial skills in oil and gas.”
The minister said the government has set “ambitious targets for its energy mix”, and this will require “a large scale of deployment of solar, wind and battery storage projects across the Kingdom”.
“Manufacturing these components will also create a demand surge for minerals like copper, aluminum, zinc, nickel, lithium, and silicon,” he added.
However, extracting these minerals must fit in with the Kingdom’s sustainability and economic diversification plans.
“Saudi Arabia is committed to the development and securing of the key metals and minerals needed for localization of the supply chain and to pursue the goal of cleaner energy,” said the minister..
Prince Abdulaziz concluded his speech by highlighting the efforts of the Saudi people in the Kingdom to the many local and international guests of the forum.
“I ask you not to believe me or any speaker that may come before me or after me. I would ask you to float around, go to the alleys and go to the streets, walk into the office buildings and see the real energy of Saudi Arabia – it is the youth of Saudi Arabia, it is the women and men that are making these things a reality,” he said.
The minister also discussed that all new gas power plants in Saudi Arabia on Jan. 20 in Taiba and Qassim will be carbon capture enabled.
“Clean hydrogen is a focus of our investment with the largest clean hydrogen hub in the world planned in the Kingdom, this ambitious program will make the Kingdom a clean energy industry destination with reduced footprint,” he said.
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