MUSCAT: With the issuance of the Mineral Resources Law, coupled with the recent tendering and award of a number of mining concessions, the mining sector in the Sultanate of Oman is poised for a new phase of vigorous growth.
Overseeing this sector is the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, which has affirmed the presence of commercial deposits of metallic mineral ores such as copper, chromium, iron ore, manganese, and non-metallic ores such as marble, limestone, gypsum, clay, silica, dolomite, sandstone, kaolin, various quarry commodities , and others.
The Ministry of Energy and Minerals seeks to develop and organize the sector by completing and developing the geological, geophysical and geochemical maps of Oman, continuing the exploration of minerals of all kinds and understanding their uses in the field of industry in general, and making the most of the available resources to diversify the sources of national income and expand its production base. Further, through investments, the Ministry is encouraging the establishment of industries that depend on available minerals such as the glass industry, the production of copper alloys, and metal industries.
The mining sector is one of the economic pillars upon which the goals of “Oman Vision 2040” are sought to be achieve. Eng Saud bin Khamis al Mahrouqi, Director General of Minerals, said: “The current strategic direction of the ministry is to identify and equip concession areas for metallic minerals and general sites for non-metallic areas to achieve the principle of transparency and equal opportunities, as all these areas will be offered by bidding system according to standards and technical and financial evaluation for the real investor. Those wishing to enter the mining sector in the Sultanate of Oman.”
In a statement to Oman News Agency, he explained that the Ministry is identifying new concession areas for investment and development targeting chrome, copper, limestone and other ores. At present, seven concession areas currently up for bidding.
So far, the Ministry signed 16 agreements with Minerals Development Oman (MDO), covering a total of 12 concession areas for metallic minerals development. Besides, an agreement for laterite ore exploration has been signed with Knights Bay of the UK, while 3 agreements for concession areas for potash and lithium ore development with Mawarid Mining, Al Tasnim and Ara.
Zubair bin Muhammad al Zubair, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ara Natural Resources Company, explained that the mining sector is a promising industry with the potential to support economic diversification and to increase its contribution to the gross domestic product. He welcomed efforts by the Ministry to attract serious investors from inside and outside Oman to explore for valuable commodities such as lithium and potash.
Source: Oman News Agency