The mining sector in Saudi Arabia is witnessing a new reality, through which the government is striving to bring about a radical transformation in its sources of income, as Saudi Arabia is looking for the mining sector to contribute about 240 billion riyals to GDP, and to reduce imports by about 37 billion riyals, and generate more than 200 thousand Direct and indirect employment by 2030.These ambitious government goals were linked to a clear, national plan of action, as Saudi Arabia recently approved the new mining investment regime, in order to achieve optimum utilization of the land’s wealth, whose initial value is estimated at about 5 trillion riyals.
In parallel, the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources launched the first phase of the geological survey program in the Arab Shield, on an area of 600,000 km, at a cost of two billion riyals, to establish a database that helps investors seize opportunities in this sector.
The question is, what was the reality of the mining sector before the new reality?
The government worked to establish two industrial cities in Ras al-Khair and promised the North, with investments amounting to 216 billion riyals. The “governmental” Maaden Company undertook the process of promoting this sector, through an aluminum plant and another phosphate plant, which exports about 70% of its production to global markets. These industrial cities contribute to what Approximately 35 billion riyals of the gross domestic product.
As for the role of the private sector, for the most part, was to benefit from the mining licenses, and was limited to selling raw mining materials to foreign companies, so that the manufacturing process could be done externally, without an actual contribution to the local industry, and from the astonishment to point out that one of the French newspapers published years ago that the marble paving Champs-Elysee Avenue, in the French capital, is of Saudi origin, and European in manufacture.
There is a point between the two roles for the government sector and the private sector, as it is unacceptable for the private sector to continue to operate in the same way in the next phase, and it is, of course, to pay attention to the size of the large national project in the mining sector, to contribute effectively to its objectives.
Unlike the work of private companies in other sectors, the story in the mining sector is different, as mining companies benefit from the land resources directly, and have government support, and therefore any private sector evasion of its national responsibilities must also face a different way, in which it is not sufficient to approve sanctions, or The imposition of fines, but rather an examination of the causes and consequences of this evasion by the Anti-Corruption Commission, for the resources of the land, as well as the fate of its sons and daughters, and public funds are not for gamblers, they are for those adventurers towards a new and promising future, with clear goals and a transparent action plan, the results of which are periodically monitored and its inputs assessed on Regularly, until goals are met.
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