Twelve exploration-to-mining concession agreements were signed by the Ministry of Energy and Minerals and Minerals Development Oman (MDO), an affiliate of Oman Investment Authority. Dr. Mohammed Hamad Al Rumhi, Minister of Energy and Minerals, and Dr. Badar Saud Al Kharusi, Chairman of Minerals Development Oman, signed the agreements. An Oman Investment Authority representative attended the signing ceremony.
The Ministry has taken this step following the adoption of a comprehensive strategy to enhance the minerals sector through the use of concession agreements. This comprehensive strategy included a set of financial, technical, and legal terms which would be negotiated between the Ministry and investors. The investment management mechanism will be used to manage mineral resources in concession areas through the utilization of mineral resources.
The agreements serve as a starting point for exploration and evaluation of the existing and new mineral resources. To begin, MDO plans to launch an ambitious airborne geophysical survey program, which will be followed by geochemical studies to identify the potential minerals in these regions. These concessions allow the mining and exploitation of resources, notably copper in the Wilayat of Yanqul and industrial minerals in the Wilayat of Shaleem.
According to the agreements, the total area of the concessions is 21,480 square kilometers/km2. These minerals include a number of potential minerals (metallic), primarily Copper, Gold, and Chromium. Most of the sites are located in North and South Al Batinah, A’Dhahirah, Al Buraimi, A’Dakhiliyah, and North and South A’Sharqiah. The sites are all exploration-to-mining concessions, one of them located in the Wilayat of Yanqul has a 20km2 area and has reached the advanced exploration phase and is ready to be mined.
In addition to industrial minerals (non-metallic), the contracts include Dolomite, Silica, Gypsum, and Limestone in three other areas located in the governorates of Muscat and Dhofar, three of which are concession areas that have reached the advanced exploration phase and are ready for mining. These concession areas are located in Shaleem with an area of 1,489 square kilometers/km2, including ores like Dolomite, Limestone, and Gypsum.
Dr. Al Rumhi noted that the ministry is seeking to further the mining sector’s aspirations to become one of the sectors of economic diversification through efficient and professional management. According to the Ministry, mining concession agreements for large areas, like in the oil and gas sector, have been adopted to develop this sector.
Exploration and mining concession agreements will be offered to local and international companies for mining and exploration of those areas. Mineral ores found in the Sultanate of Oman will be valued within the country, downstream mining and manufacturing industries will be established, and more employment opportunities will be created.
According to Dr. Al Kharusi, these agreements mark an extremely significant development for MDO and a milestone for the company’s future. MDO is planning to invest in exploration activities across Oman targeting several valuable commodities. It is our hope that the successful results of these activities will attract strategic investors and ultimately promote the entire Omani mining sector.