One of the oldest nomadic and desert nations is known for being one of the world’s major suppliers of energy and a net exporter of “black gold”. Does this gifted land have some of the other gold, the precious yellow metal?
Currently, along with its rival, United Arab Emirates, they are the biggest gold markets in the Middle-East and they battle furiously on leading the Arabian Gulf economy. These two nations have always been traders since they first settled in these lands. Now, that oil has been discovered, they became even better traders. The UAE diversified its investments in real-estates and tourism sectors, while the Saudi Arabia spent oil money on education, infrastructure and industry sectors.
In the 80s, Saudi Arabia started mining operations in an old deposit called “Mahd El-Dahab”, an Arabic phrase means “Cradle of Gold”. The site was one of the mining operations King Solomon used, according to the local legends. A 1980 research estimates gold ores containing an ounce of gold per ton. These areas lie in a circle of geologically rich deposits of gold including the new north Sudan and southern region of the Egyptian Eastern Desert.
A more recent study by a joint Saudi-British venture commented on the site saying “small, but rich”. There is a problem though; the site is in a plain desert with little resources, which makes it very hard to work in. there is no water, and transportation system is to be built.
Researches about extracting gold under the Red Sea and oceans in general may be our next breakthrough in the gold mining industry, if it is proven to be fiscal. A joint Saudi-Sudanese study is underway to explore the feasibility of extracting gold from the sea-mud in the area. Till now, lady-luck hasn’t showed them her beautiful face yet.
To sum up, mining operations in Saudi Arabia in particular has a great potential, and it may boost the country’s economy and influence greatly. Besides, having a lion’s share in the oil production, this might make Saudi Arabia one of the richest countries in the world.