Saudi Arabia Hosts First International Geological Surveys Meeting, Promoting Sustainable Development and Collaboration


Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - In a milestone event, Saudi Arabia played host to the inaugural international meeting of geological surveys, welcoming numerous countries from across the globe. The meeting, chaired by His Excellency Mr. Khalid bin Saleh Al-Mudaifer, Deputy Minister for Mining Affairs, aimed to facilitate international cooperation and knowledge exchange, fostering sustainable development in the region. Coinciding with the third edition of the Future Mining Forum, the gathering delved into various topics and advancements within the mining and minerals sector.


The meeting commenced with an opening speech by His Excellency the Deputy Minister, who underscored the significance of integrating the geological perspective into the pursuit of a sustainable future. Mr. Abdullah Al-Shamrani, Deputy Chairman of the International Meeting of Geological Surveys, followed with a warm welcome to the participating delegations, expressing gratitude to the organizers of the Future Minerals Forum for hosting this prestigious event. He acknowledged the challenges faced by geological surveys worldwide, as highlighted in the ministerial roundtable, and emphasized the importance of exchanging ideas concerning Saudi Arabia's geological wealth and its strategic approach to surveying, exploration, extraction, and responsible mineral utilization. Al-Shamrani further emphasized the Kingdom's geological landscapes as a hidden treasure trove of vital minerals.


Throughout the meeting, attendees engaged in constructive discussions on a range of topics, including the geological potential of emerging mining regions in Africa, West Asia, and Central Asia. The challenges encountered in survey activities globally were also explored. Additionally, the participants focused on leveraging international experiences to bolster regional capacities, bridge the geological survey gap, promote mineral exploration, prioritize survey areas, and identify funding sources. The meeting shed light on the significance of developing geological databases and ensuring accessibility in emerging mining regions, facilitating increased mining investments and public access to digital geological survey data. Furthermore, attention was given to updating geological data management systems and enhancing geological survey capacities at individual, operational, and systemic levels, ultimately supporting exploration development through skill enhancement, system improvement, efficient land access, data management systems, and funding source identification. These efforts aimed to foster a collaborative environment for geological surveys.


The meeting concluded with several key recommendations, including the establishment of a permanent coordination and collaboration mechanism among geological surveys in the region. Furthermore, the participants emphasized the need to enhance cooperation in geological research and development, as well as the importance of updating digital geological survey data and making it readily available to relevant stakeholders worldwide.