According to the analysis of the reports unit in the “Al-Iqtisadiya” newspaper, based on official data, including the Saudi Vision 2030 document, the gross domestic product of mining activity has jumped 21.4% since the launch of the vision in April 2016, that is, within four years, as the output for the sector in the first quarter of 2016 was about 2.55 billion riyals.
The Saudi vision and leadership pays special attention to the mining sector, so that Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman previously described the sector as another untapped oil, adding that the value of minerals in the Kingdom is 1.3 trillion dollars (4.9 trillion riyals), including 240 billion dollars (900 billion riyals) It is the value of gold only.
The Corona pandemic has brought the sector’s importance back to the forefront globally, with most metals registering new highs, chiefly gold and silver (the highest since the 1980s), which reflects the outlook for the future well when it decided to focus on the sector.
Within the framework of this Saudi interest, the Cabinet approved last month the mining investment system, which is expected to increase the sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product to 240 billion riyals, and contribute to reducing imports by about 37 billion riyals, and to generate more than 200 thousand direct and non-jobs Directly by 2030.
The new mining investment system included the establishment of a mining fund to ensure the existence of continuous financing for the sector and support the activities of geological survey and exploration programs, which will attract internal and external investments and accelerate the activities in this field and thus achieve the sector’s contribution to GDP.
According to the analysis, the gross domestic product of mining and quarrying activity in Saudi Arabia grew 4.5 percent during the past year, to reach 10.66 billion riyals, compared to 10.21 billion riyals in 2018.
While the GDP of the sector increased 2.7 percent in 2018, as its value was 9.94 billion riyals in 2017.
Gold and silver
Saudi Arabia has raised its gold production by 143 percent since the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 announced in 2016, equivalent to 7.3 thousand kilograms, to 12.35 thousand kilograms in 2019, compared to 5.09 thousand kilograms in 2015, before the launch of “The Vision”.
Saudi gold production rose 5 percent last year, equivalent to about 588 kg, as production was 11.77 thousand kg in 2018.
Last year, Saudi silver production increased by 5 percent, equivalent to 266 kilograms, to 5.59 thousand kilograms in 2019, compared to 5.32 thousand kilograms in 2018.
Since the Kingdom’s 2030 vision, Saudi Arabia’s silver production has increased by 24 percent, or 1.09 thousand kilograms, as production was 4.5 thousand kilograms in 2015.
Saudi Arabia’s copper production increased last year by 5 percent, equivalent to 3.02 thousand tons, to 63.3 thousand tons in 2019, compared to 60.34 thousand tons in 2018.
Since the “vision”, Saudi copper production increased by 37 percent, or 17.1 thousand tons, as production was 46.25 thousand tons in 2015.
Saudi Arabia’s zinc production last year increased by 5 percent, or 900 tons, to 18.9 thousand tons in 2019, compared to 18 thousand tons in 2018.
Prince Muhammad bin Salman, the crown prince, said in a previous television interview, that the value of minerals in the kingdom is $ 1.3 trillion (4.9 trillion riyals), of which $ 240 billion (900 billion riyals) is the value of gold only.
Prince Mohammed bin Salman stressed that it is difficult for the foreign or local investor to take risks in a new sector such as the mining sector, adding, “Therefore, we have found that leadership must come from the Public Investment Fund.” He said, “Part of the (cache) available from offering a share of” Aramco “will provide an opportunity to invest in this new sector, of which only 3 percent has been exploited to date.”
A third pillar of economic diversification
Prince Muhammad bin Salman confirmed, in an interview with Al-Arabiya TV, that the mineral sector in Saudi Arabia is “another untapped oil”.
During the interview, he expressed his dissatisfaction with the performance of this sector, despite the tremendous riches that the Kingdom has in terms of mineral savings and very huge reserves, which God loved the country from uranium wealth, which represents 6 percent of the world’s total reserves.
He added, “This wealth is another untapped oil, in addition to the wealth of gold, silver, copper, and other minerals, of which only 3 or 5 per cent was exploited, and it was used incorrectly at a time when the mineral sector was supposed to be the third pillar of the industry. Saudi Arabia, in addition to oil, gas and petrochemicals, to contribute to achieving more prosperity, so that its goals are closely aligned with the Kingdom’s development strategy, which is to diversify sources of income, provide employment and comprehensive development. ”
According to the text of the Saudi Vision 2030 document, “God has blessed our country with mineral capabilities such as aluminum, phosphates, gold, uranium and others. Work has been done to develop this sector and qualify it to contribute to meeting the needs of industries and the national market from mineral resources, but the contribution of this sector to the gross domestic product is still Without the hope, therefore, we will direct our efforts towards developing this vital sector and raising its contribution to the GDP.
Economic Reports Unit