Saudi Arabia has an ambitious plan to increase the share of mining in GDP to SR260 billion by 2030, Petroleum and Minerals Minister Ali Al-Naimi said in Riyadh. He was inaugurating the first Saudi Mining and Minerals Conference in Riyadh in the midst of a large gathering of more than 1,000 delegates, which included mining experts and entrepreneurs and owners of mines, government officials and international operators.Minister Ali Al-Naimi told the opening session that that Kingdom aims to triple the contribution to the Saudi economy made by mining and minerals. “The direct and indirect contribution to GDP has reached SR80 billion and (the sector) has created 265,000 jobs.” Al-Naimi said.“The ministry is aiming to raise the GDP of mining to SR260 billion by 2030 and to create more than 100,000 jobs for citizens.”Al-Naimi said that the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources is developing a long-term plan for the Kingdom’s mining sector.Commerce and Industry Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, Abdulaziz Al-Jasser, president of the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment, Saudi Geological Survey President Zohair Al-Nawab, Deputy Mineral Resources Minister Sultan bin Shawli and Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) Present Khalid Al-Mudaifer were also present.“Our mining sector is developing fast and we hope to attract foreign investors to various projects in the sector,” the minister said, hoping that the Kingdom would prepare an attractive climate for the foreign investors who would like to invest in copper, zinc and precious metals.He added: “We have adequate raw materials in the sector from exploration to production.”Al-Naimi said the new industrial city in Ras Al-Khair in eastern Saudi Arabia would contribute to strengthening the country’s industrial sector.He said the giant industrial projects at Ras Al-Khair would support the Kingdom’s diversification drive and bring good returns to investors and stake holders. It will also help transfer technology to the Kingdom.“Ras Al-Khair was established to support all phases of industrialization and achieve the highest possible added value inside the country,” he said.Al-Naimi stressed that the development of the mineral sector would serve the Kingdom and its citizens in the long run.“It will create thousands of jobs for Saudis, especially technical jobs that provide good returns.”Ras Al-Khair will also provide attractive investment opportunities for Saudi and foreign investors, the minister said.Minister Al-Rabiah said: “No doubt, developing mining sector in the Kingdom would provide ample opportunities for the Saudi economy to diversify its income.”He said that his ministry is following a paper-less concept in dealing with several matters with the members of the public.Zohair Al-Nawab, president of the Saudi Geological Survey, said: “Mineral deposits in Saudi Arabia are widespread and of many types, ranging from gold to lightweight aggregate.”He said: “The bulk of metallic mineral resources are contained in Precambrian rocks of the Arabian shield, in the western part of the country.”He added: “Non-metallic resources are contained in both Precambrian rocks and Phanerozoic rocks that overlie the Arabian shield in the central and northern parts of the Kingdom.”The chief metallic mineral resources include: gold, zinc, copper and tin-tungsten, while the chief non-metallic resources include: phosphate, high-grade silica sand, feldspar and nepheline syenite, kaolin, basalt and scoria, gypsum and anhydrite, limestone and dolomite, ornamental stone and quartz.The minister also opened an exhibition complementing the conference. More than 50 exhibitors from 10 countries, including Saudi Arabia and the US, China, Germany, Finland, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands and Austria, displayed their latest technologies.Exhibits at Saudi Mining & Minerals 2015 included machinery, equipment, materials, products, technology, consultancy services, management capability and financial expertise for Saudi Arabia’s mining sector, also for supporting infrastructure including building and construction, transport and communications, power and electricity, water and environment.Broad product categories included mining machinery and equipment, surface mining equipment, drilling technology, conveying equipment, exploration technology, energy supply and infrastructure support facilities and equipment.