Oman's Ministry of Energy and Minerals is working on new exploration concessions in the mining sector  targeting chrome, copper, limestone and other minerals and will offer them to local and foreign investors in the first quarter of 2023, state-owned Oman News Agency (ONA) reported on Saturday.

The ministry is engaged in final negotiations with specialist companies for exploring potash and lithium deposits, the Arabic language report said, quoting the ministry's Director General of Investment Salah bin Hafeez Al Dahab. 

The Sultanate is rich in copper, chromite, laterite, magnesium, manganese and other mineral ores,  as well as industrial ores such as gypsum, silica, limestone and gabbro stones.

Earlier this month, the ministry signed a mining concession agreement with the British company Knights Bay to extract nickel and its derivatives with high purity at an estimated investment of nearly $25-30 million.

The official said last year [March 2022], the  ministry had signed 12 exploration-to-mining concession agreements with Minerals Development Oman (MDO), where the company started exploration work, including airborne geophysical surveys, geochemical studies, excavation works and other activities.

He said these areas would be developed by MDO in partnership with local or international investors depending on the type of minerals and their estimated  deposits.

(Writing by D Madhura; Editing by Anoop Menon)