A top Saudi Arabia Minister said the nation has a major role to play in the world’s energy supply, especially in the mining sector.
Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Investment Khalid Al-Falih discussed a global shortage of critical mining supplies, and the role the Kingdom can play.
Speaking at the Future Minerals Forum in Riyadh on Jan. 11, the minister said a shortage of supply is one of the key challenges faced in the mining sector.
The minister called Saudi Arabia the “world’s safety valve” for energy spanning across sectors, including whether it is conventional, unconventional, or renewable energies, wind, solar, hydrogen or ammonia, or any other emerging technologies applied in the mining industry.
“There is an expected rise in demand for critical metals that will be key to the electrification of the global economy, and there is also a critical shortage of supply,” he said.
Al-Falih said that Saudi Arabia could help find a solution persisting in the energy sector, as the country has all the necessary enablers, including laws to elevate the operations in the mining industry.
“We have the energy solution, we have the location, we gave the financing, and we have the best-in-class regulations across the world,” said Al-Falih.
According to the minister, Saudi Arabia’s mining sector is placing some emphasis on environmental, social, and corporate governance principles, known as ESG measures. These practices are coming into global focus due to the dual crises of climate change and energy crisis.
Al Falih said Saudi Arabia is working to support the necessary business environments for private sector firms to come and invest in Saudi Arabia.
Jeremy Weir, executive chairman and CEO of Trafigura Group, said that the ongoing Russian war in Ukraine has exposed the vulnerabilities the world is facing in the supply chain of the mining sector.
“War in Ukraine made countries realize that they should not rely on one supplier, but should rely on multiple suppliers from multiple regions,” said Weir.