Following the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), held last week in Davos, and the agreements achieved at the Future Minerals Forum in Saudi Arabia, Eurasian Resources Group (“ERG” or “The Group”) has announced its intention to invest in the Kingdom for the long term. A leading diversified natural resources group headquartered in Luxembourg, ERG plans to invest US $50 million in the market, with the potential to grow this figure year-on-year.
ERG’s entry in this market is a natural move to expand its existing global footprint, now spanning more than 16 countries. ERG states that its two offices, in Riyadh and Jeddah, will be central to the Group’s regional development strategy focused on its growth in the Middle East and North Africa regions.
ERG will prioritise large scale, tech-enabled early-stage exploration for battery transition minerals in the Ad Dawidimi region of the Kingdom, where it has already secured licenses and is actively pursuing further exploration ground.
Benedikt Sobotka, CEO of ERG, said, “The World Bank estimates that 75% of global exploration spend goes to only 10 countries. This is not sustainable if we want to meet the exponential demand for minerals needed to power the global energy transition. ERG is seasoned in entering new frontier markets, those previously overlooked, untapped or underexplored, and is looking forward to embarking on this journey with the Kingdom. Saudi Arabia provides exceptional conditions to help us to continue producing essential materials for the production of batteries and renewable energy systems in the long term: large-scale maiden exploration ground with sound prospectivity, a young, ambitious and highly skilled workforce, established infrastructure, stable and affordable power, a supportive legal framework for investment and the political will to capitalise on its mineral wealth.”
Dr. Alexander Machkevitch, ERG Chairman of the Board of Directors, said, “Under Vision 2030 and its Mining Strategy, Saudi Arabia has taken steps through legal reform and access to high-quality geological data to make its estimated US $1.3 trillion worth of minerals attractive to explorers and investors. ERG is committed to long-term investment in the region and intends to leverage the full suite of incentives under the new Mining Investment Law to support its efforts.”
At the WEF’s Annual Meeting in Davos last week, Dr Machkevitch joined His Excellency Khalid A. Al-Falih, the Kingdom’s Minster of Investment, in a closed session hosted by the Ministry to discuss how the energy transition is impacting downstream industries.
This session holds particular relevance as ERG is assessing opportunities to identify and develop resources, and, where possible, to increase captive supplies through downstream facilities – which could potentially include processing facilities for battery precursors.
In addition, through ERG Technology Intelligence, ERG plans to employ the latest technologies in its exploration and mining activities, including incubating prototypes such as the NOMAD (a Tele-operated Remote Sampling System) directly in the field.
Jonathan Cordero, Head of Corporate Development, ERG, said, “Implementing smart technologies from the get-go will allow us to leapfrog traditional exploration and mining methods and reap significant benefits – from improved workforce safety and lower carbon emissions, to enhanced productivity and efficiency. Sustainable development is the bedrock of our business strategy and starting operations with a blank canvas gives us the opportunity to innovate and embed sustainable practices right from the start.”
With collaboration being central to its DNA, ERG intends to advance technological development through industry partnerships in the Kingdom. During the Future Minerals Forum, ERG signed an MOU with Ma’aden to build a best-in-class technology hub to further investigate efficient and cutting-edge ways to accelerate exploration within the Kingdom to sustainably meet mineral demand. This collaboration will be extended to include other relevant industry players in the future.