A new report discusses the potential of the Kingdom to become a major global minerals hub in the race to provide clean energy
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia: The Payne Institute for Public Policy at the Colorado School for Mines in the USA confirms that the Kingdom could be set to play a major global role in the supply of precious minerals needed to power the transition to green energy in order to reach the goal of net zero carbon emissions.
The paper confirms that this is “an exciting time for critical minerals” and says that the Kingdom could find itself in a powerful position to become a major clean energy player, lying in the middle of the vast mineral-rich super-region stretching from Africa to Central Asia. The topic lies at the heart of international debate taking place at the Future Minerals Forum (FMF) in Riyadh in January, which explores how critically precious minerals are needed to power clean energy items such as electric vehicles, computers, smartphones, solar panels, microchips and wind farms.
The Institute advises that a long term commitment and coherent strategy is needed. To make the most of this opportunity, international agreement at all levels is vital. Governments, companies, and communities will all have to work together to re-think on a global scale how to extract and use minerals, and provide resilient and sustainable mineral supply chains.
However, the Payne Institute acknowledges that any economic switch from hydrocarbons to clean energy will take time. In fact, it will take decades.
High-powered conferences like the second FMF – which has attracted 55 Government Mining and Resources Ministers, 200 speakers and 13,000 delegates – must lay the groundwork, forging dynamic discussion with an emphasis on direct and urgent action. FMF hosts, the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources in Riyadh, says that it is essential to work closely with many, many partners, to build stable markets, making sure that the minerals industry is transparent, fair and highly collaborative.
Despite a parallel and significant rise in investment across the Middle East in hydrocarbons, the Kingdom plans to attract $32 billion of investment in its bid to become a major player in global mining production.
The report concludes that Saudi Arabia is in a strong position to convene dialogue about how best to uncover the mineral riches of the super-region.