World Risk Report 2023 recognizes Saudi Arabia for its exceptional mining investment environment

June 10, 2024

RIYADH — The latest annual assessment of mining investment risks from MineHutte and Mining Journal Intelligence recognizes Saudi Arabia for its exceptional mining investment environment.

The recently published World Risk Report 2023, featuring MineHutte Risk Ratings, highlights Saudi Arabia as a standout best-performing mining jurisdiction both regionally and globally.

The Kingdom’s scores have risen sharply in terms of de-risking mining investments from 2018 to 2023, placing it among the top 10 countries with the least legal and financial risks. This improvement measures an investor's risk of losing the economic benefit of a mineral discovery, corporate taxation, and GDP growth. This follows sweeping sector reforms designed to attract mining and mineral investment since Saudi Arabia’s mining and mineral strategy launched in 2018.

Emma Beatty, MineHutte COO and research director, stated, “Saudi Arabia remains the legislative reform story of the Middle East and a standout jurisdiction, both regionally and globally, because of recent successful reform efforts. It is clear from the legislation alone that Saudi Arabia is not only serious about establishing itself as a considerable investment and operational force in the global mining arena but also committed to growing its domestic mining sector.”

At a time when the race for new sources of critical minerals to support decarbonization is becoming increasingly urgent, investors are turning to new jurisdictions while carefully weighing the risks. The World Risk Report is a comprehensive evaluation of global mining investment risk, informed by 11 Hard Risk metrics based on external data and perceived risk scores from more than 600 respondents with knowledge of the specific regions.

The report equips mining companies and investors with a tool to compare investment risks in 121 jurisdictions, based on ratings in five categories: Legal, Governance, Social, Fiscal, and Infrastructure.

On the Investment Risk Index (IRI), Saudi Arabia recorded the second-biggest global improvement. It is singled out several times in the report as fast becoming a preferred destination for mining investment due to its comprehensive and attractive legislative framework. The largest gain is in the legal section, with a 20-point increase in the past five years.

As a result, Saudi Arabia is now ranked as a top-tier mining jurisdiction for investment, with respondents ranking it among the top 20 jurisdictions globally. Assessing its approach to permitting, the report ranked Saudi Arabia as the second highest globally, indicating an efficient permitting process. Furthermore, the Kingdom's Fiscal Hard Risk score has improved, placing Saudi among the top 10 countries for fiscal risk mitigation worldwide.

Over a five-year timeframe, Saudi Arabia has registered the biggest gains of any geography, thanks to its new mining strategy reforms. These reforms are being used as a blueprint for improving regulatory frameworks and mining industries in neighboring countries. — SG

June 10, 2024
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