Saudi Arabia will invest around $3.8bn to enhance access to geoscience data and reduce regulatory red tape as it looks to boost mineral exploration, senior government officials said on Wednesday. Government plans to jump-start the Saudi mining sector form part of a broader industrial strategy aimed at diversifying the economy and attracting private-sector investments worth 1.6- trillion riyals ($426bn) over the next decade. Investments will be made through the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program (NIDLP), part of Vision 2030, a reform strategy led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and intended to wean the economy off oil while creating jobs. “For some time Saudi mining has been characterised by a lack of publicly available geoscience data, longer processing times on licenses and a lack of transparency,” Khalid Al-Mudaifer, vice minister of mining, told an African mining conference. He said the $3.8bn would be spent on making it easier to do business and improving ...

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