Saudi Arabia Faces Challenges to Tap Its Vast Copper Reserves – by Yvonne Yue Li (Bloomberg News – September 25, 2022)

(Bloomberg) — Saudi Arabia says it has the potential to unlock enough copper to ease a looming shortage as the world makes an epic shift to clean energy, but the kingdom faces challenges that established mining countries already have solved.

Key among those challenges as the world’s largest oil producer seeks to unlock an estimated $1.3 trillion in mineral wealth are logistics and water supplies, according to Bandar bin Ibrahim Al-Khorayef, Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources.

“One of the things that the mining sector needs is really a lot of infrastructure,” Al-Khorayef said Friday in an interview at Bloomberg’s global headquarters in New York. “It could be road, could be railway and port” to bring the resources in the north of the country to the east to be processed and then shipped, he said.

Perhaps the biggest hurdle — especially for a country covered in large part by desert — is water, which is essential in churning out the mineral from open-pit or underground mines. “Water is key.

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