Saudi Arabia mining industry could generate 219,000 new jobs by 2030: Minister

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Saudi Arabia’s mining industry could generate 219,000 additional jobs and increase its contribution to the Kingdom’s GDP to 240 billion riyals ($64 billion) by 2030, according to a senior Saudi mining minister.

Speaking on Wednesday, Deputy Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources for Mining Affairs Khalid bin Saleh Al Mudayfar said that he takes pride in the steps taken by Saudi Arabia’s government to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

The Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources has been focused on supporting investors who hold mineral licenses. The ministry has postponed the collection of financial claims for the 2019 fiscal year for two months to help investors maintain cash flow, and contribute to the sustainability of the mining sector.

Al Mudayfar noted that the Kingdom’s mining sector remains a rich resource for economic growth.

Currently Saudi Arabia spends less than a quarter as much for mining exploration per square kilometer compared to global spending norms, the Minister said.

Increasing development in the mining sector would lead it to becoming the “third pillar” of the Saudi economy, alongside petroleum and petrochemical industries, Al Mudayfar added.

The Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources is a relatively new government body. In September last year, Saudi Arabia took the decision to split the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources into two separate entities.

The new Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources became fully independent from January 1, 2020.

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