Saudi Arabia Rare Earth Elements and Critical Materials Spotlight: Part 1

ELON MUSK TESLA BUYOUT TALK RAISES INTRIGUE ABOUT SAUDI ARABIA: ARE RARE EARTH ELEMENTS NEXT FOR THE KINGDOM

SAUDI ARABIA FOCUS: RARE EARTH METALS (REES)

Saudi Arabia is geologically diverse and contains a wealth of resources, including some of the world’s largest gold deposits. The Kingdom is a home for rare earths and other critical metals including tantalum and niobium.

In light of the dynamic and changing market, the Kingdom is considering how to exploit the deposits. With this as a distinctly possible background, mineral exploitation would become the third pillar of the Saudi economy.  Saudi Arabia has been in an exploratory stage with evaluation of the available deposits of minerals and REEs. Industry sources speculate that Saudi Arabian raw materials would be exploited through the issuance of mining licenses. It is not clear if those receiving the licenses would be domestic, foreign or some combination of enterprises. One would speculate that the addition of “technology metals” to the Saudi Arabia portfolio would make the Kingdom a compelling industrial destination for future generations.  Mining and industrial activity would also attract foreign investments in order to help to increase regional development in rural areas, and to create new jobs.

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The mining exploration for rare earth elements and critical material is focused on an area of nearly 600.000 km2 called The Arabian Shield. This area was created during the late Proterozoic, had a particular geological evolution (accretion of volcanic island arcs) and contains huge deposits of minerals.

The most important deposits of REEs in Saudi Arabia are concentrated in the Western part of the Kingdom, not far from Jeddah and Medina.

Jabal Tawlah is one of the most known deposits of metal elements of high economic importance in Saudi Arabia. Reserves have been estimated to a depth of 65 m under the surface. This relatively little sludge has the highest concentrations of niobium, tin, yttrium. It is also rich in Baltantalm, thorium and heavy rare earth elements (REE).

Ghurayyah is a world-class deposit containing valuable tantalum, niobium, rare-earths, zirconium and yttrium.

The Saudi Geological Survey (SGS)

It is the national geologic survey, established as an independent entity attached to the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources. The SGS will be able to provide a number of its services and consultation skills to the public and private sectors. SGS also has the flexibility to operate abroad and can form partnerships with private companies or with other earth science agencies.

Contact person: Engineer Husain M Alotaibi, president of Saudi Geological Survey (SGS):
Website: http://www.sgs.org.sa/

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