The Ministry of Energy and Minerals (MEM) says it has taken significant measures to open up Oman’s promising mining sector to local and international investment. These efforts are reflected in the growing number of concession agreements signed with investors covering the allocation of land blocks for mineral exploration and development based on a fair and transparent competitive process affording a level playing field to all investors.

Strategically located throughout Oman, the concession areas offer diverse mineral resources, including copper, gold, chromium, and potash, the Ministry said in a post on Monday. It has carefully selected these sites based on their economic viability and environmental considerations.

Additionally, the Ministry has allocated public mining sites for industrial minerals to local companies, meticulously studying their impact on residential areas and wadi streams to ensure responsible mining practices.

These efforts are expected to attract substantial investments, create job opportunities, and bolster Oman's economic growth. The country’s rich history of mining, dating back 5,000 years, coupled with its natural wealth and unique geological diversity, makes it an ideal destination for exploration and mining ventures, it noted.

The mining sector in Oman plays a crucial role in the country's construction and industrial activities, contributing directly to the production of essential building materials like cement. It also offers a fertile ground for private sector investments in exploration and exploitation activities.

Furthermore, the mining industry provides various job opportunities, ranging from direct mining activities to supporting roles in transportation, production supplies, spare parts, and maintenance.

Other initiatives by the Ministry that have helped strengthen the investment and regulatory environment around the mineral sector include the following: Implementation of transparent and equal opportunities for license applicants based on the Mineral Resources Law 19/2019; Enhanced occupational health and safety standards to help attract investments and employ Omani workers; Elevated technical requirements in exploration and mining to meet international standards; and Mandating licensed operators to allocate at least 10 per cent of contract work to local companies and Omanis, especially for small and medium enterprises.

Additionally, to help maximize local value creation from mining licenses, the Ministry has stipulated Omanization rates in quarries, and has encouraged the establishment of factories to utilize quarried minerals, and ensuring the quality of raw materials produced.

Furthermore, it has championed collaboration with universities and research institutions to advance knowledge and expertise in the mining sector. The sale of geological maps and studies to researchers and mining companies has also facilitate informed decision-making.

Oman's mineral wealth is abundant, encompassing a range of metal and non-metallic elements, such as copper, gold, chrome, marble, limestone, dolomite, manganese, laterite, gypsum, silica, and lead.

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