In a race for critical mineral resources, global powerhouses such as the United States, China, and Russia are setting their sights on Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom is ramping up its mining sector investments, positioning itself as a “super region” for natural resources.
What Happened: As reported by the Wall Street Journal, key government officials and leading mining executives from these countries have gathered in Riyadh. They aim to benefit from Saudi Arabia’s increasing mining investments, which are part of the Kingdom’s broader economic diversification strategy.
During the three-day conference, Saudi Arabia is expected to finalize deals worth approximately 75 billion riyals ($20 billion). Both the U.S. and Russia have inked memorandums of understanding related to minerals with the Kingdom.
In its bid to become a significant player in the global mining industry, Saudi Arabia launched Manara Minerals last year, a joint venture between its sovereign wealth fund and state-owned mining company. The Kingdom has also revised its estimated untapped mineral wealth to $2.5 trillion.
Why It Matters: Saudi Arabia’s push to diversify its economy away from oil has led to increased focus on the mining sector. This shift comes in the wake of a significant reduction in oil prices by Saudi Aramco, the state-run oil giant.
The Kingdom’s mining initiatives have also attracted international interest, with companies like Ivanhoe Electric showcasing their capabilities at the Future Minerals Forum in Riyadh.
Furthermore, Saudi Arabia recently secured its largest foreign debt borrowing since 2017, issuing $12 billion in debt, which is likely to fuel its mining investments further.
With the U.S., Russia, and China all keen on tapping into Saudi Arabia’s mineral wealth, the global race for resources is set to intensify.
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