Oman's MDO weighs strategy for developing Dhofar’s mineral resources

We are working on formulating something on the lines of a Mineral Village, where all kinds of mining activities will be facilitated, says CEO of PAM

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. An excavator shovels a mixture of limestone and clay for the production of cement at a plant of Holcim near the eastern Swiss village of Untervaz November 26, 2014. Picture taken on November 26. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

Image used for illustrative purpose. An excavator shovels a mixture of limestone and clay for the production of cement at a plant of Holcim near the eastern Swiss village of Untervaz November 26, 2014. Picture taken on November 26. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

Mineral Development Oman (MDO) the Sultanates mining sector flagship has been tasked with formulating a strategy for harnessing potentially prodigious industrial mineral resources located in the Al Shuwaymiyah Manji area of Dhofar Governorate, a top government official announced here yesterday.

Eng Hilal al Busaidy, Chief Executive Officer of the Public Authority for Mining (PAM), said the Al Shuwaymiyah-Manji mineral zone encompassing an area of over 3,000 sq kilometres, is home to world record beating reserves of limestone and gypsum.

The quality of these resources is equally unrivalled, he noted.

There is a directive from the government that we give our strategic partner, MDO, the opportunity to take the lead in terms of how we can develop this area, said Al Busaidy. The area is remote, and requires infrastructure; we also need to bring big investors to the area, and secure markets as well for the output. We are working on formulating something on the lines of a Mineral Village, where all kinds of mining activities will be facilitated.

Speaking at a press conference spotlighting the upcoming Oman Mining Expo later this month, the CEO of PAM said the remote location of Al Shuwaymiyah-Manji situated roughly midway along the 600km distance between Duqm and Salalah ports necessitates viable logistics solutions to bring the mineral resources to a maritime hub for processing and eventual export.

What will be necessary is a way of transporting these huge quantities of minerals to an area where we can process it or export the raw materials to overseas markets, said the official. There are three options to get this done: One we build a port nearby for the transportation of these minerals; Two we look at transportation from the site by rail; and Three we move the minerals overland by truck, which is not economical. The Ministry of Transport and Communications is looking at the optimum transportation mode, he noted.

Earlier, authorities had outlined plans for a dedicated Mineral Railway Line linking Al Shuwaymiyah-Manji with the Duqm Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and the nearby Port of Duqm. Oman Rail, a subsidiary of Asyad Group the governments transportation and logistics flagship was assigned the task of putting together a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) framework encompassing all aspects of the ambitious endeavour to commercialise the prolific mineral wealth of the Al Shuwaymiyah-Manji area. A Task Force was also established to ensure that all of the key stakeholders worked in sync to ensure the smooth and timely delivery of the Mineral Railway project.

Established in 2016 with a capital of RO 100 million, MDO is as a partnership of four Omani sovereign wealth funds and investment entities: State General Reserve Fund (SGRF), Oman Investment Fund (OIF), Takamul Investment, and Oman National Investments Development Company (TANMIA).

2019 © All right reserved for Oman Establishment for Press, Publication and Advertising (OEPPA) Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).

Disclaimer: The content of this article is syndicated or provided to this website from an external third party provider. We are not responsible for, and do not control, such external websites, entities, applications or media publishers. The body of the text is provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis and has not been edited in any way. Neither we nor our affiliates guarantee the accuracy of or endorse the views or opinions expressed in this article. Read our full disclaimer policy here.