Muscat – Oman is adopting concrete steps to exploit the full potential of its mineral resources and be a leader in mining in the region. It has identified and offered 21,480sqkm of concession areas for mining of metals, including copper, gold and chromium, as well as industrial minerals like dolomite, silica, gypsum and limestone.
The Ministry of Energy and Minerals (MEM) and Minerals Development Oman (MDO), an affiliate of Oman Investment Authority, signed 12 exploration-to-mining concession agreements on Wednesday, paving the way for a new strategy to develop the mining sector.
The concession agreements are among projects that will contribute to enhancing the sector and economic growth in Oman, MEM stated.
H E Dr Mohammed al Rumhy, Minister of Energy and Minerals, said MEM is working towards the development and management of the minerals sector in an effective and professional manner in line with the sector’s aspirations as one of the economic diversification sectors.
“The ministry has adopted a new methodology to develop this sector by establishing mining concession agreements – including legal, technical and financial terms – of large areas similar to the practice in the oil and gas sector. These areas will be offered to local and international companies specialised in exploration and minerals extraction as per an exploration and mining concession agreement,” he said.
H E Dr Rumhy made the comments while signing the 12 concession agreements. “The agreements are linked with the creation of in-country value in mineral ores in Oman, and establishment of downstream mining and manufacturing industries, in addition to creating more job opportunities,” he said.
MEM is working towards regulating investments in the mining sector to ensure optimal utilisation of mineral reserves in Oman and the sector’s sustainability.
The ministry envisages regulating the licensing system and issuing period through ready- for-investment mining opportunities that will be offered in concession areas which will help develop an investment portfolio and an organised sector, in addition to reducing environmental impact. The presence of a clear regulatory environment will effectively contribute to achieving the optimal utilisation of the sector.