Third Future Minerals Forum Closes with Renewed Commitment to Sustainable Mineral Development

Third Future Minerals Forum Closes with Renewed Commitment to Sustainable Mineral Development

The third edition which is by far the biggest one of the Future Minerals Forum has drawn to a close in Riyadh with Bandar bin Ibrahim AlKhorayef, Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, telling the 14,000 participants from 133 countries “ultimately our work is not just about minerals – it’s about people.”

The event saw the signing of 75 minerals deals worth around SAR 75 billion (more than 20 billion USD), which will drive R&D, technology, upstream, and other value chain opportunities in KSA.

It was also the scene of several major announcements. Following work by its geological survey, the Kingdom has revised the estimation of its potential mineral resources, nearly doubling their value from
$1.3 trillion to $2.5 trillion, 90% increase.

Meanwhile, 33 new sites have been opened up for exploration, and for the first time, a country-sized area of 4,000 sq km – the Jabal Sayid mineral belt – can be explored.

In order to encourage and de-risk that exploration, Saudi Arabia has launched an exploration incentive programme with a budget of over $182 million.

At the Ministerial Roundtable which preceded FMF, representatives from 79 countries heard of Saudi Arabia’s creation of a Minerals Innovation Acceleration Park (MIAP), the first of a series of centers of excellence which will enable capacity building across the minerals value chain.

In his closing remarks, the minister thanked Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and HRH Crown Prince for their trust which has allowed the Forum to take its place as the world’s premier platform on minerals.

He said: “For me it’s truly rewarding to see a global community come together in such a noble cause. I am proud of the fact that we have been consistently optimistic as an industry in believing that we can change course and achieve our goal of bringing social and economic opportunity to more people everywhere.”

The 250 speakers at the Forum included some of biggest names from the global mining sector, including Dominic Barton, Chairman of Rio Tinto and Mark Cutifani CBE, Chairman of Vale Base Metals. Reflecting on the importance of the Forum, Cutifani said: “The mining industry needs to better tell its story so the world sees that 99% of businesses are working hard to make a positive impact. The Future Minerals Forum provides a platform for telling that story, and it was good to see the industry coming together not just to spread the message, but to agree actions to back it up."