On 24 August 2021, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia launched the first geophysical survey aircraft. The launch took place in Dawadmi province in the Riyadh region. Deputy Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Mudaifer inaugurated the project on Tuesday.
Abdullah Al-Shamrani, CEO of Saudi Geological Survey, said the authority visions to obtain high-resolution geological data for the Arabian Shield. The Arabian Shield covers an area of up to 600,000 square kilometres in Saudi Arabia. It will also detect mineral deposits in the region. Al-Shamrani said the data will play a huge role in mineral exploration as it will improve the economy in the Kingdom. It will also attract investments in the mining sector to achieve the goals of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.
He further said that the Kingdom is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of mineral resources. According to data from the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, it is estimated at a value of SR5 trillion ($1.3 trillion). Al-Shamrani also predicted that the mineral wealth will become the country’s third-highest source of economic wealth.
Al-Shamrani said the aerial geophysical survey work will include a magnetic and radiological geophysical survey of the entire Arabian Shield in Saudi Arabia. The authority also aims to obtain geomagnetic and radiometric high-resolution data and digital maps. Along with this, it will also obtain geological interpretations of magnetic and radiological maps. These maps reflect the most important geological structures and rock facies. This will allow them to identify and count the most important ranges of mineralization environments.