Mining Sector in Saudi Arabia Witnesses Remarkable 138% Growth in Exploitation Licenses

Mining Sector in Saudi Arabia Witnesses Remarkable 138% Growth in Exploitation Licenses

Saudi Arabia’s mining sector is experiencing a significant surge, with exploitation licenses witnessing a remarkable 138 percent increase since the enactment of the new Mining Investment Law in 2021. This growth reflects the Kingdom’s commitment to fostering mineral production and investment, positioning mining as a cornerstone of its industrial landscape.

Exploitation License Surge

Under the new regulations, the issuance of exploitation licenses surged from eight in 2021 to 19 in the following year. This uptick underscores the proactive efforts of the Saudi Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources to stimulate growth within the sector. The Kingdom’s mineral wealth, estimated at an impressive SR9.4 trillion ($2.4 trillion), underscores the immense potential for further development.

Mining Sector-Expansion in Building Materials Quarry and Exploration Licenses

In addition to exploitation licenses, the mining sector also witnessed significant growth in building materials quarry and exploration licenses. Building materials quarry licenses soared from 158 to 538, marking a 241 percent increase, while exploration licenses leaped from 58 to 259, reflecting a 347 percent rise. These expansions are driven by initiatives like the Accelerated Exploration Program and streamlined licensing procedures.

International Collaborations

The expansion of Saudi Arabia’s mining sector extends beyond domestic borders, with notable collaborations on the international stage. In January, the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu signed a memorandum of understanding with Brazilian mining giant Vale for the development of an iron ore briquettes project within the Kingdom. This partnership signifies a significant milestone in Vale’s regional endeavors and highlights Saudi Arabia’s appeal as a strategic investment destination.

Mining Sector

Future Minerals Forum: Spotlight on Technological Innovation

The signing of the memorandum took place during the Future Minerals Forum, a two-day event where Vale unveiled its plans for the Middle East. In a panel discussion titled “Making Africa, Western and Central Asia Processing and Manufacturing Hubs,” Vale CEO Eduardo Bartolomeo emphasized the company’s commitment to technological innovation within the mega hub in Ras Al-Khair Industrial City. This project aligns with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and underscores the Kingdom’s ambition to become a global leader in sustainable mining practices.

Commitment to Sustainability

Vale’s participation in the forum underscores its dedication to sustainable mining practices and its alignment with Saudi Arabia’s vision for a greener future. By emphasizing its commitment to net-zero emissions and highlighting the transformative potential of its projects in Ras Al-Khair, Vale reaffirms its role as a key player in the region’s sustainable development journey.


As Saudi Arabia’s mining sector continues to expand both domestically and internationally, partnerships like the one with Vale signify the Kingdom’s emergence as a prominent player in the global mining industry. With a strong focus on innovation, sustainability, and collaboration, Saudi Arabia is poised to unlock the full potential of its mineral resources, driving economic growth and prosperity for years to come.

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