MUSCAT: The Ministry of Energy and Minerals is seeking to attract foreign investments represented by international companies specialized in the field of minerals, which have advanced technologies and capabilities that make them able to explore for the mineral resources latent in the Sultanate of Oman.
Eng Saud bin Khamis al Mahrooqi, Director General of Minerals, said: “The ministry’s direction in the mineral sector in the next stage is to complete the strategic directions that serve the ambitions in terms of developing and strengthening the geological portfolio, digitizing it, raising the volume of investments and promoting them, especially with the emergence of good mineral indicators in Oman, in particular through the Ministry's identification of 12 mining concession sites for Minerals Development Oman (MDO) of the Oman Investment Authority.
Eng Saud al Mahrouqi added that the ministry has adopted several projects in cooperation with partners in the minerals sector, including a project to offer ready sites for marble ore and building materials for bidding with the award (the first package), with the aim of creating competitive investment opportunities for marble ore and building materials by the bidding system in order to achieve the principle of transparency, equality and financial efficiency. And technical by organizing the process of granting licenses and bringing in the serious investor to create real and sustainable investment opportunities for the sector, and it is expected that the project will be completed as a preliminary package during the end of the first quarter of this year.
Omani mining firm Kunooze aims to produce up to 3 million tons annually of raw dolomite in stages, he said, noting that the initial geological study shows that the volume of resources at the site It may reach more than 250 million tonnes of dolomite ore. The project is intended for mplementation in 2026.
Another key project is underground mining for copper at Al-Ghizain in Wilayat of Al-Khaboura in Al-Batinah North Governorate, he said. The project aims to extract about 6.5 million tons of copper ore with a purity of 2 per cent over a period of 6 and a half years. The completion rate of the project reached 21 percent.
Regarding the project to develop the Shaleem mining site, he said the project aims to mine gypsum, limestone and dolomite ores for export to the global market initially, stressing that the project has reached advanced stages in the economic feasibility study. Deposits of high purity are found in an area covering 3,314 sq km. The project is slated for completion in 2026.
Likewise, the Naqaa salt project aims to produce salt with high quality and purity for commercial and industrial uses.
Meanwhile, Mazoon Mining has uncovered commercial discoveries of copper and gold ore at many locations in Block 10 in Yanqul Wilayat. The amount of copper produced by this project is estimated at more than one million tons annually and with good revenues. It aims to complete the implementation of the project by 2025.
In the Wilayat of Al-Mudhaibi, a copper ore project aims to produce concentrated copper with 24 per cent copper per tonne in the new processing plant.