SGS’ initiatives are aligned with a series of initiatives of the energy, industry and mineral resources sector under the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program, one of the largest and most important programs to realize Vision 2030, aimed at developing local industry and content
The SGS shall furnish the government and, especially, the mining industry with all of the relevant geoscientific information and services in order to motivate local and international companies to invest in the local mining and mineral sectors. This initiative also contributes, in the process, in providing job opportunities by holding investment workshops, seminars, and consultations in cooperation with the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources.
Alternative and renewable sources of energy provide natural and clean energy, whose utilization do not result to significant environmental pollution. Preliminary studies of the SGS have suggested that there is a big potential for the development of these energies that can be derived from rocks and geothermal energy sources in Saudi Arabia, such as from the ancient volcanic lavas, hot springs, and thermal rocks. The SGS is now able to continue its research in these areas and help develop these energy sources for possible investments in the field of renewable energy production.
An SGS study on energy sourcing, which is anticipated to be finished by the end of December 2020, in addition to the creation of the thermal flux map of the Madina Region, has already identified confirmed and promising locations and target areas for investment for the production of electricity from geothermal sources.
The potential areas in the Madina Region include the surface thermal fluxes in the volcanic rocks and the high thermal activities of the radioactive granite rocks in the Harrat Rahat, based on geological, radiological, and geophysical exploration data.
The monitoring and the assessment of geo-environmental hazards caused by earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, floods, subsidence, and emissions of radioactive gases, also including those caused by human activities, fall within the priority programs of the SGS. The SGS will also undertake a national project to create a geomedical map of the Kingdom’s regions to synergize the dissemination and the utilization of data and information about Earth materials, such as minerals, rocks, soils, and water, so that the ways and strategies on how to manage their utilizations, transports, and natural emissions or migrations in the environment and to the communities can be devised.
Through this SGS initiative, the following projects are prioritized for implementation:
- The creation of the geomedical map of Madina.
- To identify and determine the concentrations of elements in the rocks, soils, groundwater, and ambient air dusts in the Madina Region, which are detrimental to human, animal, and plant health.
- The assessment of seismic hazards in the Kingdom’s administrative regions and the seismic and volcanic hazards for the Harrat Khaybar area.
- To monitor and assess the seismic and volcanic activities through the SGS networks of monitoring stations on seismicity, ground acceleration, thermal activities, gas concentrations, and ground deformations, and to identify potential risks and hazards that are related to these activities.
- The study on the desertification of the Baish Valley.
- To delineate the extent and magnitude of desertification and to identify indicators on its progression in the main valleys and in the agricultural areas of the Mecca Region using hydrogeological, soil, land degradation, and vegetation cover studies.
- The risk identification and evaluation associated with the Jizan salt dome and its surroundings.
- To determine the dimensions of the salt dome and its sub-surface extensions, to verify the possibility of its movements in the region, and to propose technical recommendations and necessary solutions for the geohazards related to the salt dome.
- The creation of geologic hazard map of the Mecca Region.
- To study and classify the types of geohazards and environmental problems in the Mecca Region, and to develop and provide appropriate scientific solutions for these problems.
- The establishment and install 30 stations for thermal monitoring and 135 stations for seismic monitoring.
Several agencies in the energy, industry and mineral resources sectors are involved in this initiative, seven of these sub-initiatives were entrusted to the SGS, namely:
1- The launching of a national geological information program
To establish a national geological information program, aimed at supporting expenditures on geological surveys and explorations that are intended to obtain the necessary earth science data and information in order to attract investors and to provide geological information about mineral exploration for uploading into the National Database.
2. The launching of an accelerated exploration program for promising mineral deposits
To launch an accelerated exploration program for predetermined and promising deposits in order to establish the next phases of exploration programs that will be offered for investment and to motivate and encourage small-scale exploration companies by offering them trainings and development strategies to respectively raise the efficiency of their Saudi geologists as mineral explorers and enhance their capabilities in mining.
3. The creation of an accessible and upgraded national geoscience database
The National Geological Database (NGD) will be the cornerstone of the proposed mineral resource and mining information management system in the Kingdom. It shall contribute in increasing the value derived from the mining sector, which is one of the main pillars of the national economy, and will offer investors an access to all online NGD data and information through a range of electronic portals.
4. The development of services provided by the Drilling Core Sample Library
To create and prepare an integrated and upgraded database unit for the drill core samples of all mining projects
5. The establishment of a mining services company
To establish a company to monitor the compliance of mining companies with the technical requirements of mining, as well as with the requirements for health and safety, the control of production rate, and the provision of technical staff for regulation
6. The establishment of a center of excellence in the mining and metallurgical industry sectors
Among the initiatives of the Comprehensive Mining Strategy is the establishment of a center of excellence in the mining and metallurgical industries that will be implemented by the SGS. This initiative will promote environmental security and safety in mining activities by introducing new services to fill the gaps in the current mining sector, such as in the reduction of the costs of mineral processing, and to provide technical consultations and services in environmental security and safety.
7. The establishment of a national fund for exploration services
This initiative supports the growth of the SME sector in Saudi Arabia by providing co-funding opportunities to those who are qualified to increase their geological exploration potentials, which is valued at less than 50% of the capital, including the requirements for their incorporation, operational details, organizational structure, and staffing. The fund will be developed and linked with the Investment Promotion Team, which is a part of the Deputy Ministry for Mineral Resources (DMMR), and will provide continuous capacity building and training on the management of investment portfolio performance.