A new Saudi mining project is expected to increase the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) by $6.4 billion and its non-oil GDP by 3%, Reuters reported.

King Salman bin Abdulaziz inaugurated the Waad Al Shamaal mining project on November 22.

The kingdom plans to invest around $22.7 billion in the project, a 440-square km city for mining industries, the energy ministry said in a statement.

The project will raise annual phosphate fertilizer production to 9 billion tons, making the country the second largest producer in the world, according to energy minister Khalid Al Falih.

The energy ministry has estimated that the country possesses 500 million tons of phosphate ore, valued at around $1.33 trillion.

The kingdom sees mining as a key sector in lessening the country’s dependency on hydrocarbons, and meeting the diversification targets contained in its Vision 2030 growth strategy.