An Initial Public Offering (IPO) planned by Minerals Development Oman (MDO), the Sultanate’s new mining investment and development flagship, is still in the works, according to a key official of the wholly government-owned company.
Nasser Saif al Muqbali (pictured), Deputy Chief Executive Officer – MDO, said the public listing of the company, originally slated before the end of 2016, is still in the pipeline.
“The proposed IPO is still on the table,” said Al Muqbali. “BankMuscat is our Financial Adviser for the IPO, while Marketing and Legal advisers have been appointed as well. MDO is still committed to go for the IPO be it as MDO Holding or as a special purpose vehicle (SPV). It’s definitely on the way!”
The official made the comments after signing a major partnership agreement targeting the development of prodigious copper-gold reserves in Block 10 in the Wilayat of Yanqul in the northwest of the Sultanate.
MDO was set up in 2016 with a capital of RO 100 million to stimulate investment in the nation’s potentially promising mining and mineral processing sector as part of the government’s broader push to diversify the national economy.
Sixty per cent of the company’s equity is owned by four government entities: the State General Reserve Fund (SGRF), Oman Investment Fund (OIF), Oman Oil Company (OOC) and Oman National Investments Development Company (TANMIA). The remaining 40 per cent is proposed be offered for public subscription via an IPO floated on the Muscat Securities Market (MSM).
In comments to the Observer, Al Muqbali said the partnership agreement signed with fellow state-owned Oman Mining Company (OMCO) and international mining investor EXO, represented a “milestone” in the operationalisation of MDO.
“We are very pleased to have joined forces with OMCO, the oldest mining company in the region, to stimulate and develop the mining sector in the Sultanate,” he commented.
The company, Al Muqbali said, is also on the verge of concluding another major mining related pact. “We are looking at a couple of opportunities, and very shortly announce our second project. We are also looking at a number of projects, which we hope will materialise soon.”
Also of interest to MDO is a possible role in the exploitation of major limestone, gypsum deposits in the southeast of the country that would support the roll-out of a Mineral Rail Line mooted by Oman Rail.
“In line with our role to serve as an enabler of mining investment and development, we are working with Oman Rail to explore the possibility of building a rail network to service mineral deposits in Shuwaymiyah and Manji (in Dhofar Governorate).
We are also working closely with the Public Authority for Mining (PAM) to look at the mineral potential of Shuwaymiyah and Manji, and develop that potential hopefully with Oman Rail and local and international strategic partners.”
Conrad Prabhu –
MUSCAT, JAN 24 –