The yellow cake “Uranium” has always been of great importance, making it one of the most important raw metals in nature, so uranium is later converted into a clean source of energy through the enrichment process and today, in review time. Environmentally friendly options for power generation, it becomes a cake that everyone is looking for in its geography folds.
This zero-emission quest pushed one of the world’s largest energy producers, Saudi Arabia, to invest heavily in its extraction, after Saudi Arabia announced at the International Mining Conference in Riyadh that it intended to make significant use of its share. of yellow cake. in its plan of economic transformation.
During his speech at the conference, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman stated that his country has “large quantities of uranium and we will use them commercially and deal with uranium reserves with full transparency.”
The value of mineral wealth in Saudi Arabia is estimated at about $ 1.3 trillion, and includes phosphate and bauxite minerals in the northeast of the country, gold, copper and rare earth deposits in the Arabian Shield and its production in 2020 reached (54,448 tons) zinc , and (92,915 tonnes) of copper, and (7479) kilograms of silver and (13,222) kilograms of gold.
The Saudi Minister of Industry stated that his country aims to increase the contribution of the mining sector to GDP from $ 17 billion to $ 64 billion by 2030.
The governor of the Public Investment Fund, Yasser Al-Rumayyan, indicated that these resources owned by Saudi Arabia have not been exploited, “we have vast natural resources and untapped minerals worth about $ 1.3 trillion.”
Earlier, the Saudi Crown Prince revealed that the percentage of “yellow cake” uranium reserves in Saudi Arabia is close to five percent of world reserves.
The third pillar
Saudi Arabia wants mining to be the third pillar of the national industry after oil and petrochemicals, through its plans to exploit and explore these resources. Through the International Mining Conference that ends today, January 13, Riyadh seeks to contribute to responding to the future. The needs of the mining sector, Bringing together multiple actors from governments, investors, financial institutions, service providers and manufacturers, and providing a platform for collaboration between them to design a future roadmap aimed at achieving sustainable development in the sector.
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The mining conference, which is the first of its kind in the mining sector in the countries of the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa, was attended by a thousand personalities from 100 countries and more than 150 large global investors.
With the great transformation that the world is experiencing, the Saudi Minister of Energy said: “We should not neglect energy security for a propaganda ploy”, adding: “There is a need to think carefully about the transformation in the field of energy”.
For his part, Saudi Industry Minister Badr Al-Khorayef said: “We plan to auction up to three mining licenses in 2022, including the Al-Khanaiqiyah mines, where zinc and copper deposits are estimated at around 26 million. our “.
The licenses will be granted under a new mining law that went into effect in January 2021 and aims to accelerate foreign investment in the sector as part of efforts to diversify the economy away from oil and gas.
He added that “Al-Khuneiqiah will be the first” and that the bidding process will start at the end of the current quarter or the beginning of the second quarter.
He said the bidding process, including the pre-qualification phase, will take about six months, noting that two more licenses will be offered for two other construction sites.
The government estimates the value of the country’s untapped mineral resources at about five trillion riyals ($ 1.33 trillion).
Riyadh says it aims to create more than 200,000 direct and indirect jobs in the mining sector by 2030.