Saudi king to open mine project, crown prince to attend G20

Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud addresses the Shura Council in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia November 19, 2018. Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via REUTERS

RIYADH (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will inaugurate the Waad Al-Shamaal mining project on Thursday, Alarabiya TV said on Twitter, quoting energy minister Khalid al-Falih.

The project will cost 85 billion riyals ($22.7 billion) and will create 10,000 jobs, according to Falih. It is part of an industrial scheme aimed at opening up Saudi’s north to development that will boost job creation.

Saudi authorities estimate the region holds 500 million tons of phosphate ore, around 7 percent of global proven reserves, mainly in the Al Jalamid and Umm Wu’al areas between Arar and Turaif.

Falih also said that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman would participate in a G20 summit in Argentina at the end of the month. Prince Mohammed will head to the gathering as part of a foreign trip, Al Arabiya reported Falih as saying.

The kingdom is facing a global outcry over the murder of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the country’s Istanbul consulate in early October, which has strained its ties with the West.

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