Saudi miner Ma’aden brings in new chairman to replace Falih

Saudi Arabia has appointed Yasir al-Rumayyan, governor of the country’s Public Investment Fund (PIC), as the new chairman of state-run mining company Ma’aden, replacing former energy minister Khalid al-Falih.

The appointment is a further demonstration of the shifting power stakes at the top level of Saudi Arabia’s sprawling energy and resources sector, with Rumnayyan’s stock rising at the expense of Falih.

Falih’s influence has been significantly diminished over the last month, having been stripped of his role overseeing industry and mining policy and then replaced by Rumayyan as chair of oil giant Saudi Aramco. A week later, he was sacked as energy minister.

Meanwhile, former local investment banker Rumayyan has cultivated a strong relationship with the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and been entrusted with a growing portfolio of responsibilities across the sector.

Mining has been targeted as a key industry for development by Saudi Arabia as it looks to diversify its economy away from the oil sector. Ma’aden, the kingdom’s largest mining company, is 65% owned by the PIF – the main vehicle that will deliver several megaprojects as part of the country’s vast economic reform plans.