Exploration

Being the Sultanate's mining leader, exploration is the cornerstone of MDO's business strategy that aims at providing a sufficient mineral resource base in order to meet market needs while contributing to the country's GDP growth.

MDO focuses on developing a range of projects across the mining value chain, from upstream and downstream through its subsidiaries and developing projects related to mining. This is done by focusing on a number of strategic minerals found in the mountains of the Sultanate including metallic minerals such as gold, copper and chromite as well as industrial minerals such as dolomite, gypsum, and limestone.

MDO continues to expand its exploration activities, determine the types and quantities of mineral resources and provide accurate estimates to investors by implementing the latest technologies in the exploration and evaluation of mineral resources to be exploited to serve the rapidly growing needs of the company.

 

 


Upstream Sector

At MDO, we continuously harness our experience, develop human cadres, and establish local and global partnerships to provide a sufficient Omani mineral resource base while pushing the wheel of its marketing forward.

MDO is focused on speeding up its upstream activities, such as sampling, ground and aerial geophysical surveys, drilling, crushing, milling, and raw material extraction, as well as its midstream activities including processing, smelting, and refining.

MDO has a wide portfolio of upstream projects, including the following:

 

 

This project is located in the Wilayat of Yanqul, Al Dhahirah Governorate, in the concession area (12A-2), and covers an area of 20 square kilometers. It consists of five mines with 22.9 million tons of copper ores and 1.5 million tons of production capacity a year.

Located in Ash Shiwaymiyyah, Dhofar Governorate, this project covers a 1,500 square kilometer area. MDO’s geological studies revealed 960 million tons of gypsum deposits with a purity of up to 97%. Also, studies confirmed the existence of limestone deposits of 2.5 billion tons with a purity of 99%, in addition to dolomite deposits of 1.3 billion tons.

MDO is redeveloping the Lasil and Al Baydha copper mines in Block 4 in Wilayat of Sohar and Liwa. It is one of the MDO's first projects in copper ore mining; resulted from the intensive exploration programs carried out by MDO in 2022 revealed the potential of commercial reserves of copper ore estimated at approximately 2.78 million tons in Block 4, part of Oman Mining Company geological assets. The project has a production capacity of approximately 800,000 tons of copper ore per year. Based on the current reserves, the initial phase of the project will last for four years. Additionally, the company plans to continue exploring the surrounding areas to secure new reserves and maintain production.

This project aims to extract salt from seawater in Wilayat of Mahout, about 170 km from Duqm. The project focuses on producing high purity salt to be exploited in various ways including exporting to regional and international markets, used in downstream chemical projects, and applied in other industrial applications. The plan is to build salt evaporation ponds that can produce about 1.5 million tons of raw salt annually.

MDO is collaborating with Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) to study the possibility of producing raw salt from the deep waters associated with oil production. These deep waters are found in several PDO sites, which are studied and assessed as a part of the project. The saline solution produced from deep water is 3.5 times more saturated with sodium chloride than seawater; in addition, it is purer than the salt extracted from seawater due to its chemical properties.


Downstream Sector

Investment and development in the value chain of the mining sector, particularly in downstream mining activities, constitute one of the main pillars of MDO's development strategy. The company's policy aims to utilize extracted mineral ores by directing them to local industrial projects and creating added-value projects. This will contribute to creating new economic opportunities and making the utmost use of natural mineral resources in the Sultanate.

MDO pacted a deal for the joint development of a titanium dioxide production plant by owning 35% of the project in the Suhar Free Zone on an area of more than 120,000 square meters, with a production capacity of 150,000 tons per annum. The project is expected to start commercial production by Q1 2025.

MDO focuses on developing plants for silica, magnesium, chromite, and limestone calcination, which are all important industries that can be implemented if the required raw materials with good quality are ensured.


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