Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources says it has secured $6 billion for a steelworks complex and electric vehicle battery metal plant as part of plans to attract $32 billion in investment in the mining sector, according to Reuters.
The ministry’s goal would be to fund nine mining projects for minerals and intermediate metals, Industry and Mineral Resources Minister Bandar al-Khorayef said in a statement.
The Kingdom is seeking to diversify its economy away from oil by pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into a plan called Vision 2030 initiated by de facto Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Mining is one of the sectors that has been identified for expansion.
The nine projects include a $4 billion steelworks complex for the shipbuilding, oil and gas, construction and defense sectors and a ‘green’ flat steel complex that will supply automotive , food packaging, machinery and equipment and other industrial sectors. Both projects are already underway, as is a $2 billion EV battery metals factory.
Last month, the Saudi government signed an agreement to buy between 50,000 and 100,000 electric vehicles over 10 years from Lucid Group Inc, whose Saudi sovereign wealth fund whose Public Investment Fund has a majority stake.
The minister said the projects would create more than 14,000 jobs and added that the ministry was currently processing 145 exploration license applications from foreign companies.
“These targeted investments represent a significant ‘down payment’ in our efforts to go beyond exploration and extraction and in building integrated value chains, a central focus of our overall mining strategy,” al said. -Khorayef in the statement.
“The investments will continue to position the Kingdom as a mining production and logistics hub for a region that stretches from Africa to Asia, while supporting the transformation of our mining sector so that it is can fulfill its potential.”