Mining policy in Saudi Arabia has always been optimistic, experts claim. The Kingdom’s core economic message is aligned with them. By 2030, the mining sector aims to be the country’s third pillar of the industry, making use of the abundance of natural resources to draw on local and global investment.
Experts say that this is often due not only to the convenience of access for investors in the personal sector but also to the recognition that the dominion offers unique prospects such as an abundance of good minerals and metals, tax incentives, legislation providing rapid access to mining licenses and a premium labor pool.
The vision goes beyond the economic phase in its aim not only to increase the gross domestic product of the country but also to provide for the people of the Kingdom by expanding underdeveloped areas, creating several thousands of jobs, and providing stability within local communities.
Although there are obstacles in the past, a number of major mining projects — a number of which have already been completed — have laid the groundwork for the industry to demonstrate its capacity to serve local communities.
In their title, some of these ventures became destinations, showing the convergence of technology, industry, and social upliftment.
Take Wa’ad Al-Shamal, the Hope of the North, for example. Created by the dominion as a promise to the people of the then underdeveloped region of Northern Borders, the project has always been about improving the lives of the people living there. Seven years from completion, Wa’ad Al-Shamal has become one of the mining centers of the Kingdom. Wa’ad Al-Shamal has already generated 20,000 jobs and can become a self-sufficient city with 100 housing units, a large road network, water and sanitation facilities, and shopping and leisure centers.
Before this year, the Saudi power company awarded Wa’ad Al Shamal’s electrical installations a five-star rating for environmental, health, and safety performance – even in the wake of the pandemic.
“In Wa’ad Al-Shamal, the desire to make a top-notch industry is personified, and it has shown the importance of mixing technological advances, our own growth, and knowledge in the world, and therefore the desire to see our people flourish. Such cities are an example of how much a mining operation and a community are symbioses, helping each other’s development, “said Khalid Al-Mudaifer, deputy mining affairs minister.
The continuing development of the Ras Al-Khair Mineral Industrial City has been equally optimistic. Not only does it serve as a residential, power generation, and mining center in the east of the empire, the city acts as a one-stop-shop to process 740,000 metrics of aluminum annually by using the world’s largest aluminum smelter. When it was first opened in 2016, the area of 90 square kilometers already housed 12,000 employees and was the country’s primary site equipped with the infrastructure to access phosphate stores that had been waiting 35 million years for harvesting.
“There could be a commitment, an institutionalized commitment to increase the appeal of investors. Investors are becoming simpler than ever to take a place, which we consider to be exclusive in this field, “he said.