New Saudi mining investment law comes into force as Kingdom targets sector growth

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar bin Ibrahim Al-Khorayef has approved the implementation of a new mining investment law, as part of the Kingdom’s plans to unlock the untapped potential of its mining sector.

The piece of law was approved by the Council of Ministers last June following a comprehensive process of consultation with global experts in mining legislation. The Saudi government carefully studied some of the world’s most successful mining jurisdictions during the consultation period.

Mining has been identified as a potentially significant contributor to the diversification of the Saudi economy by the Kingdom’s national strategic framework ‘Vision 2030’.

In the last decade, over US$40 billion has already been invested in this growing sector, but recent government studies indicate the untapped potential of the Kingdom’s mineral wealth could be as high as $1.3 trillion.

Minister Al-Khorayef said: “We wanted to ensure the mining investment law would not only enhance governance of the sector, improve transparency, and increase investor confidence, but it was a priority for us to achieve growth sustainability through preserving the environment, promote health and occupational safety, and encourage local communities to participate in the growth of the mining sector.”

The law will greatly improve the ease of doing business by digitising the process for issuing new mining licenses, streamlining license approvals and transparently publishing records related to all mining licensing activity.