RIYADH — More than 32 ministers, government representatives and nine international organizations from around the world are participating in the inaugural Ministerial Roundtable on Sustainable Future Minerals that is being held in Riyadh on Tuesday.
The inaugural meeting serves as a top-level prelude to the proceedings of the Future Minerals Forum taking place at the King Abdulaziz International Conference Center in Riyadh.
“We are convening the Ministerial Roundtable to further regional collaboration on the sustainable development of the mining and minerals industry. If the huge untapped potential of our emerging mining super-region from Africa to Central Asia is realized, critical minerals can become a major development driver. We hope to establish a common framework and share best practices to ensure the reliable and responsibly sourced supply of critical minerals for the global transition to net-zero,” said Eng. Khalid Al-Mudaifer, Vice Minister of Mining Affairs, Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, Saudi Arabia.
Among those attending the closed-door meeting are ministers from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia and Yemen, as well as high-level delegates from Algeria, Australia, China, France, Japan, Palestine, Pakistan, Mauritania, Qatar, the Russian Federation, South Africa, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States.
The participants will discuss the emerging mining super-region that stretches from Africa to Central Asia, an area that is endowed with rich mineral resources that offer massive opportunities for exploration and development.
However, just as important as the availability and supply of critical minerals, the delegates of the Ministerial Roundtable, and the Future Minerals Forum, are also focusing on the responsible sourcing of these resources with world-class Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) standards that are carefully managing the environmental footprint, minimizing emissions, delivering positive societal impact and creating transparency.
“Responsible sourcing is a critical and part of our holistic approach that is supplemented globally by an increase in the recycling and reuse of critical minerals and the improvement of technology,” Eng. Al-Mudaifer added.
Also participating are key officials from the Arab League, Development Partner Institute (DPI), Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), International Finance Corporation (IFC), Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF), International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Bank.
Another ministerial meeting, the eighth consultative meeting of the Arab Mineral Resources Ministers, holds Tuesday in conjunction with the Future Minerals Forum (FMF). The meeting was organized by the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, in partnership with the Arab Industrial Development, Standardization and Mining Organization (AIDSMO) as a prelude to the FMF, which is held under the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
Highlights of the ministerial meeting includes discussions on the achievements made in implementing the ministers' recommendations, including those related to the establishment of a database for the production of mineral ores in the Arab countries, the establishment of a geological and mineral portal for Arab countries, and Arab capacity building in the mining sector.
Moreover, the Ministerial Roundtable meeting holds in the presence of Arab ministers and a number of top-level officials concerned with the mining sector from different countries of the world representing more than 30 countries.
Both meetings will provide an opportunity for investors, miners and mining sector stakeholders worldwide to explore all the potentials and opportunities of the mining sector in Saudi Arabia, the Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa regions, all of which are characterized by rich mineral resources that provide tremendous opportunities for exploration and development. —