Aussie miners head to Saudi mining forum

The Future Minerals Forum will kick off in Riyadh on January 10, with Australian mining experts set to attend.

While Australia’s Federal Resources Minister Madeleine King won’t be in attendance, well-known names on the 200-plus list of speakers include BHP chief executive officer Mike Henry, Rio Tinto chair Dominic Barton, and Australian businessman Andrew Liveris.

BHP said it is participating as a world leader in finding and producing key future-facing minerals needed to meet global decarbonisation goals.

Henry will hold a fireside chat on “mining and owning the energy transition”.

OZ Minerals technology lead Michelle Ash and Austmine chief executive officer Christine Gibbs-Stewart will join more than 30 women in mining from Africa, Europe and the Middle East scheduled to speak to thousands of delegates.

According to Mining, Industry and Mineral Resources Vice-Minister Khalid Al-Mudaifer, Saudi Arabia will become the world leader in sustainable metal production.

“Together with the wider region, we can be a key enabler of a decarbonised economy while supporting sustainable economic development,” he said.

With new projects needed for the energy transition from hydrocarbons to renewables, Al-Mudaifer said the immense resources in the emerging super-mining region have the potential to provide the world with the critical minerals it needs.

The forum’s agenda includes the implications of the war in Ukraine for future minerals supply, the need for the latest technology and automation, workforce development and maintaining a social licence for the use of water and land.

Academic papers on the future of mining will also be released.

Strategist Peter Bryant will be among the experts presenting a paper, saying “we need to re-imagine the mining industry” beyond extraction, seeing it as a catalyst for broader economic prosperity and supporting better health and education.

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