Saudi minister designates sustainability as central theme of Future Minerals Summit

Discussions around sustainable mining will dominate the Future Minerals Summit in Riyadh early next year, according to Saudi Arabia’s Vice Minister for Mining Affairs, Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources.

Future Minerals Summit, an international initiative convened by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and dedicated to advancing mining opportunities across the Middle East, central Asia and North and East Africa, will take place from January 11-13 2022.

Speaking to Arab News earlier this month, Khalid Al-Mudaifer said that the Saudi government will not allow companies to exploit any minerals if they are not sustainable and environmentally responsible. If this cannot be guaranteed, the resources ‘should be left in the ground’, he said.

“What we are going to talk 80% of the time is about how to do it [mining] environmentally, how to help the world lower emissions, electrify itself, have windmills, have solar farms,” the vice minister added.

Earlier this year, the Saudi mines ministry 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. According to recent government studies, Saudi Arabia’s untapped potential mineral wealth could be as high as US$1.3 trillion.

Organisers of the Future Minerals Summit expect over 1,000 in-person attendees, including at least 150 international investors, 100 global speakers and thought leaders, 100 mining majors and corporates from over 95 countries. At least 15 ministers and heads of state will also be in attendance.