Saudi Arabia is “very much” open for business, Vice-Minister of Mining Affairs Khalid Al-Mudaifer told the MINExpo International this week, outlining opportunities for investors, explorers, miners and service providers.
Saudi has singled out mining to become the third pillar of the country’s industrial growth and has attracted significant domestic and international investment in mining commodities, like gold, phosphate and aluminium.
In a press release issued by the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, Barrick COO for Africa and Middle East, Willem Jacobs, is quoted as saying that Saudi is well positioned for export markets to the east and west.
“We find it very easy to reach export markets from where we are,” Jacobs said. He added that the major had a good working relationship with the government and that the country’s infrastructure was good.
Barrick owns the Jabal Sayid copper operation in a 50:50 joint venture with Ma’aden in Saudi.
Meanwhile, Al-Mudaifer announced details of the inaugural Future Minerals Summit to be held in January in Riyadh. The event would focus on the mining potential of the Middle East, Central Asia and East Africa.