*** ----> Saudi Arabia says value of mineral resources has nearly doubled | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Saudi Arabia says value of mineral resources has nearly doubled

AFP | Riyadh, Saudi Arabia                                                        

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Saudi Arabia said yesterday that the estimated value of its mineral resources had nearly doubled to $2.5 trillion, highlighting a sector it hopes will help diversify its oil-reliant economy.

“I am delighted to announce that our estimation for the kingdom’s untapped mineral potential has increased from $1.3 trillion to $2.5 trillion, an increase of 90 percent,” Industry and Mineral Resources Minister Bandar Alkhorayef told a conference in Riyadh.

“This is based on new discoveries in the form of rare earth elements, and a combination of the increase of volumes of phosphate, gold, zinc and copper, as well as the revaluation of these minerals.”

The earlier valuation of $1.3 trillion had been cited by officials including His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, since at least 2017.

Risk intelligence firm Verisk Maplecroft wrote last year that the focus on mining was “among the more feasible parts” of Prince Mohammed’s Vision 2030 reform agenda, aided by existing mines, plants and infrastructure including railways.

Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman told the conference that rather than being called an oil-producing country, “what we are working on is that we would like to be an energy-producing country for all sources of energy”.

Last year, the kingdom’s deep -pocketed sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, and state mining firm Ma’aden established Manara Minerals to snatch up global mining assets.

Manara announced its first high-profile acquisition, a 10-percent stake in Brazil’s Vale, in July.