Mining authority announces launch of copper project in Oman

Muscat - 

Public Authority for Mining (PAM), apex body for mining activities in Oman, on Monday announced the launch of a copper mining project in the wilayat of Mudhaibi.

Speaking to media at the inaugural event, Eng Hilal bin Mohammed al Busaidi, CEO of PAM said, “Oman is starting copper production after a gap of 14 years, and the development confirms the economic importance of this metal (copper) in the sultanate. The copper mining project comes as a result of strong cooperation, and there will be a lot of similar projects in the future.”

Archaeological evidences suggest that copper mining in Oman existed around 4,000 years ago. However, in modern times copper exploration started in 1973. But the production was stopped in 2004, and after a gap of 14 years, Al Hadeetha copper project is going to resume copper production in the sultanate.

Al Hadeetha copper project is being operated by Al Hadeetha Resources LLC, a joint venture between Alara Resources and Al Hadeetha Investments LLC. The joint venture was formed in 2011 for the purpose of exploration and development mineral zones in the sultanate.

According to Hadeetha Resources officials, the concession area of the project site is estimated at about 39sqkm, and the Mining license area is about 3sqkm based on the PAM mining license.

Speaking at the event, Justin Richard, CEO at Alara Resources said the total resources estimated as per international acceptable standards is expected to be in excess of 16mn tons of copper. “This is one of the largest single copper resource in the sultanate.”

“The project will have a life-span of around ten years, which can be extended with exploration from adjoining areas. Once operational, the project will create more than 100 new job opportunities for Omanis,” Richard said.

On finances Richard said, the total investment in the project, would be around US$340mn, including investment that has already been made. Total earnings from the project at current prices would be around US$500mn. The government will earn around US$60mn from royalty and taxes from the project.

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