Saudi Arabia considers new mining index in diversification push
A senior government official stated that Saudi Arabia is looking at setting up a new mining and metals stock exchange index to diversify away from hydrocarbons.
In an interview with Reuters, Bandar bin Ibrahim Al-Khorayef, the Mining Minister, said that his team had met with Australian counterparts in Sydney to discuss a mining index similar to Australia’s ASX 300 Metals & Mining sub-index. This index lists mining firms and metals, including producers of precious metals, gold, and steel.
Saudi Arabia’s stock market consists of the Tadawul main and parallel markets. Companies can join these markets with fewer reporting requirements.
Riyadh is working to create an economy that isn’t dependent on oil. This includes a shift to mining to discover the untapped resources of copper, phosphate, and gold.
The minister will attend the International Mining and Resources Conference in Sydney to drum up investor interest. On Wednesday, he stated that the kingdom intends to issue over a dozen exploration mining licenses to international investors.
Al-Khorayef stated that the separate mining index would allow Saudi Arabia to place more emphasis on its mining industry and enable them to benchmark it against markets such as Australia, the UK, and other countries.
Saudi Arabia’s stock market is dominated by trading, energy, and real estate firms. However, there are just a few mining companies, with the state miner Saudi Arabian Mining Co-leading the pack.
Al-Khorayef stated that the Saudi government believes it has untapped mineral resources of $1.33 trillion. This includes large quantities of aluminum, phosphate, copper, gold, and uranium.
Al-Khorayef stated that he had discussions with several mining companies in Sydney, including BHP Group, this week about how to collaborate on exchanging knowledge, expertise, and adopting their successful business model.
Saudi Arabia will host the Future Minerals Forum in Riyadh in January. Here it plans to share more details about its plans for the sector.