The Omani-Australian partnership Al Hadeetha Resources LLC has secured funding to the tune of RO 10 million from Alizz Islamic Bank, which will support the financing of the formers copper-gold project at Washihi-Mazzaza in Wilayat of Al Mudhaibi in the Sultanate.

Australian-based mining firm Alara Resources is a majority investor in the project, which centres on the commercialization of an estimated 16 million tons of copper ore billed as the largest single copper resource in the Sultanate to date. The project includes plans for a 1 million tons per annum (mtpa) copper concentration plant with an initial 10-year mine life. The latest investment, based on Islamic finance, will be ploughed into the construction of mine-site infrastructure to support the eventual development of the 1 mtpa processing plant, said an official of Alara Resources.

These new financing arrangements signify another key milestone for the flagship Al Hadeetha Copper-Gold project in Oman. The funds will be used to procure major equipment for the copper processing plant at Washihi which remains on track to become the next producer of copper concentrate in the Gulf, said Justin Richard, Managing Director, in a statement.

Meanwhile, Al Hadeetha Resources has named Chinese state-owned enterprise China National Geological & Mining Corporation (CGM) as its Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) contractor for the copper-gold project. The contractor, which has undertaken a number of mining projects in the GCC, has commenced operations at the Al Washihi site. At the same time, Alara Resources LLC, a local subsidiary of the Australian mining firm, has formalised terms with Al Hadeetha Resources to serve as the mining contractor for the project.

In June 2018, Al Hadeetha Resources became the first international joint venture company to be awarded a copper mining licence in Oman. Other investors have since followed suit, adding new momentum to efforts to revive the Sultanates longstanding copper mining industry.

Al Hadeetha Resources shareholders are: Alara Resources (51 per cent), Al Hadeetha (30 per cent) and Al Tasnim (19 per cent.) The copper-gold project is expected to come into operation by Q1 2021.

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