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Omani mining sector enters a new era with the 12 royal decrees

04 Dec 2022

Minerals Development Oman (MDO) appreciated the issuance of 12 royal decrees approving mining concession agreements that granted the company 12 concession areas from exploration to mining. This came after the Ministry of Energy & Minerals adopted a new strategy to develop the Minerals sector through concession agreements including legal, technical, and financial terms to be signed between the Ministry and investors as an investment management method to lead the mechanism of managing the exploited minerals identified in concession areas.

The total size of the concession areas included in the agreements is around 21,480 square kilometers/km2. They include a number of potential minerals, mainly strategic minerals (metallic) such as Copper, Gold, and Chromium. The agreements cover eight sites mostly located in Al Batinah North and South, Al Dhahirah, Al Buraimi, Al Dakhiliyah and Al Sharqiah North and South. All are exploration-to-mining concession areas, one site located in the Wilayat of Yanqul with an area size of 20 square kilometers/km2 is a copper concession area that reached an advanced exploration phase to be ready for mining.

Eng. Nasser bin Saif Al Maqbali stated that “It’s a significant day for MDO as we are witnessing a historic moment with the issuing the 12 Royal Decrees that approved mining concession agreements. Through this, MDO will be able to promote its plans to invest in exploration programs for a number of strategic minerals, which will be the cornerstone of an Omani mining industry that will be vast and advanced in its operations”.

He added that “It is hoped that this will enable Oman to attract strategic partnerships, take full advantage of the mining sector, and position Oman for global mining investment. Besides enhancing the role of mining-related sectors, it will also promote sustainable development and social responsibility, building national capabilities, rehabilitating mining forces, and realizing that the mining sector plays a significant role in developing local communities and supporting small and medium enterprises”.

The Ministry of Energy & Minerals through identifying the concession areas in minerals sector, aims to overcome the challenges facing the licensing mechanism through:

  1. Contributing to creating an integrated database includes geological, geophysical, and exploration surveys that cover most of the Sultanate of Oman in order to create an organized and sustainable source of mining opportunities in Oman where the investor can explore all the minerals available in the concession areas.


  1. The concessions include all the terms related to the competent government entities such as environmental conditions, which will enable investors to obtain theses approvals from these entities to smoothly move from exploration to mining phase.


  1. Providing the required size and quantities of the primary metallic ores so it can be commercially invested in the minerals processing operation to increase the concentration levels, and consequently increase its market value. These quantities of minerals reserves will facilitate the creation of in country value to the mineral ores available in the Oman through establishing downstream mining and manufacturing industries.


  1. Facilitating funding from the bank sector for investment in mining sector through developing a long-term agreement with the investor.


  1. Focusing Ministry efforts resources in the high strategic minerals (metallic minerals) especially the ones related to Fourth Industrial Revolution, while enhancing industrial mineral production (non-metallic minerals) through attracting international specialized companies and enable the establishment of mining industries and creating various job opportunities.


It’s worth mentioning that MDO announced the start of the airborne survey for exploration of metallic minerals, which is conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of Energy & Minerals (MEM) & a number of Government entities in a solid reflection of the recent Government directions aimed at promoting mining sector for effective contribution into the national economic growth.

Minerals Development Oman was established in 2017 with a clear strategic vision to invest in the mining sector in the Sultanate and to increase its contribution to the growth of the economic and social sectors by creating job opportunities and building local competencies, in addition, to supporting small businesses and to develop the in-country value.

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