Kingdom to launch industrial mining cities

Will open up more investment and job opportunities in the Kingdom in line with the Vision 2030

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Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman will inaugurate next week one of the two industrial cities specialized in mining, Khalid Al-Falih, minister of energy, industry and mineral resources, announced here on Tuesday.

This city will open up more investment and job opportunities in the Kingdom in line with the Vision 2030, he said.

The King is expected to inaugurate Ras Al-Khair industrial mining city at the Arab Gulf coast in the east of the Kingdom.

The city will have an alumina plant and an aluminum smelting unit.

The other city Wa’ad Al-Shamal is located in the northern region. It will be specialized in phosphate, said Al-Falih.

Vision 2030 focuses on developing the mining sector to allow it to contribute to the GDPand the Kingdom aims at encouraging local and foreign investments in this sector.

The minister promised to ease regulations, speed up the issuance of licenses, develop new funding measures for the private sector projects, focus on less developed areas, increase local industrial production, promote mining services, create excellence centers to support private sector projects and create a partnership between the public and private sectors to establish infrastructure projects.

A total of 2,000 licenses have been approved in this sector, said Al-Falih, adding that the Kingdom now manages to meet the local demand for Portland cement, gypsum and other basic construction material.

The minister was speaking at the 14th Arab International Mineral Resources Conference and exhibition. He said that the Arab World has 76 percent of the world phosphate, 18 percent of sulfur as well as different percentages of gold, silver, copper and zinc.

Saudi Arabia ranks number 11 in the production of Portland cement.

This report was first published in Saudi Gazette on November 23, 2016

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