Mining portal to be unveiled next month


Conrad Prabhu –
Dec 28: The Sultanate’s first ever portal dedicated to the nation’s rapidly expanding mining and mineral processing industry will be unveiled at the keenly anticipated Oman Minerals and Mining Conference and Exhibition due to be held here next month.
The portal is the initiative of prominent international consultancy services firm Bedrock Mineral Resource Consulting (BMRC), which is supporting a number of well-established public and private sector firms in their mining related business aspirations.
“BMRC is developing the prototype of a web-based portal for mining related licensing services, which is a key issue for local and foreign players looking to invest in the Sultanate’s mining sector,” said Ravi Sharma (pictured), Managing Director.
“This web-based facility, which is being developed at our own cost with in-house expertise and research, will enable interested investors and other users to, among other things, apply for licenses online, pay fees and royalties, identify areas and mineral deposits available for licensing, and so on,” he added.
Speaking to the Observer, Sharma said elements of the web-based project will be outlined at the Oman Minerals and Mining Conference and Exhibition which opens at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre on January 16, 2017. The 3-day event has been organised by Oman Expo and Awtad Geological Consulting, in cooperation with the Public Authority for Mining (PAM).
“Prior to its unveiling we hope to have some interactions with the Public Authority for Mining to incorporate their thoughts and inputs into this key initiative,” Sharma said. “We reckon this portal will be useful not only to local and foreign investors, but the wider mining community as well. It will hold a lot of information of educational value, and thus will be useful to students and mining professionals too. For example, if a user wants to know about the status of deposits of chromite ore, copper, industrial salt, coal, and so on, or seek information about companies with mining licenses, or which areas of Oman have significant geological potential for exploration, and so on, this portal will serve that purpose.”
Dubai-based BMRC, which commenced operations in the Sultanate in 2011, says Oman’s mineral potential remains substantially untapped or under-exploited. State-owned Oman Mining Company is among a number of local organisations benefiting from BMRC’s expertise in exploration, mining geology, and mineral resource estimation, industrialisation of minerals and rocks, and mineral project management, and so on.
“There is still tremendous potential for exploration of metallic resources like copper-gold deposits, chromite ore, and so on, in the Oman Ophiolite,” said Sharma. “In terms of non-metallic minerals, the focus has mainly remained on gypsum, limestone and low value aggregate.
However, there are several types of minerals, most notably dolomite, which can produce magnesia and magnesium metal. At present, China accounts for 95 per cent of the world market for magnesium metal, which finds wide application, notably as an aluminium substitute in the automotive industry. Given Oman’s strategic location, dolomite can be suitably exploited to supply this global market.”
Indrajeet Kumar, Exhibition Manager, Oman Minerals & Mining Exhibition & Conference, commented: “We are optimistic about the positive implications of this event for the growth of a robust mining sector in the Sultanate.
This is also evident from the enthusiastic response we have received from the major players and stakeholders, as well as global companies. The mining sector holds great potential and we are leveraging these opportunities to help advance the sector.”