Eurasian Resources Group (“ERG” or “the Group”), a leading diversified natural resources group with assets and projects in 15 countries, participated in the inaugural Future Minerals Forum in Riyadh on 11-13th January. At the Forum Saudi Arabia convened a global conversation about the Middle East, Central Asia, North and East African region’s collective mining objectives and announced strategies designed to increase mining sector’s contribution to local GDP by more than 300 percent by 2030.
The Forum brought together global policy makers, investors and other business leaders – over 2,000 decision-makers across the whole mining value chain and from more than 100 countries. Dr Alexander Machkevitch, Chairman of the Board of Directors at ERG, noted that Saudi Arabia has huge potential as a mining hub and that ERG is working alongside the country’s stakeholders to discuss synergies and possible joint projects.
Dr Machkevitch said: “Saudi Arabia has a unique composition. It has very well-educated people, good infrastructure, and is strategically located, all of which is key to being successful in the future minerals business. I see great opportunity in making long-term commitments in the country, particularly as we move towards a more ESG-focussed future.”
According to H.E. Bandar bin Ibrahim Al-Khorayef, Saudi’s Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, “This Forum is a strategic part of Saudi Arabia’s comprehensive mining development strategy, which in turn has identified dozens of initiatives designed to elevate mining in the Kingdom in a sustainable way. In addition, our aim is to strengthen the mining sector’s contribution to society, reduce its environmental impact and generate important jobs for our young people”.
HRH Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud, Saudi Minister of Energy, noted: “Saudi Arabia is investing $3 trillion in a localization energy program that will make the Kingdom a global energy leader.”
Benedikt Sobotka, CEO of ERG and Co-Chair of the Global Battery Alliance, took part in a panel discussion entitled “Sovereignty vs Globalization – Developing Resilient Critical Minerals Supply and Value Chains for a Clean Future Economy”. Mr Sobotka said: “The green energy transition is the biggest purchase order in history, with demand for materials like cobalt, copper and aluminium rising exponentially. These need to be produced and refined in huge quantities and in a sustainable fashion. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has all the ingredients to be at the forefront of this transition, but it has to act now. This Future Minerals Summit is proof of Saudi Arabia’s great potential to bring together people from the region but also from all over the world and to be a strong catalyst for effective action and collaboration.”
Another session at the Forum, “To Divest or Invest? Is the Investment Community Taking Another Look at Mining?”, also saw Jonathan Cordero, Head of Business Development at ERG, as a panellist.
More detail about the Forum and its key announcements is available here.