Value creation: ‘Industry Development of Energy and Minerals’ to support downstream processing and localisation of Sultanate’s mineral wealth
A new unit has been set up under the auspices of the Ministry of Energy and Minerals to help optimise value creation from Oman’s mineral resources, according to a senior ministry official.
Dr Ali al Rajhi, Director of Planning, said the new department, called ‘Industry Development of Energy and Minerals’, will support downstream processing and value addition of the Sultanate’s mineral wealth as an alternative to the current practice of exporting unprocessed raw materials.
Speaking during an online workshop on the theme, ‘Capitalising on Oman’s Natural Resources’, organised last week by the Industrial Innovation Centre (IIC) – the Sultanate’s preeminent hub for industrial R&D – Dr Al Rajhi said the new department would work to “localise industries” around mineral resources extracted in Oman.
“We think there are a lot of opportunities that can be achieved for each type of minerals in the midstream and downstream sectors. Many industries are looking to add value (to these resources) here in Oman, rather than send them abroad as raw material. This is also in line with Oman’s economic diversification strategy and Oman Vision 2040 objectives,” he said.
With the exception of some quantities of chromite, marble and gypsum, most of the metallic and non-metallic mineral resources currently being produced in the Sultanate are being exported in raw, unprocessed form, lamented Dr Al Rajhi.
“It is very important for us as the Ministry to have value added to these minerals instead of them being exported as raw materials,” said the official. “It is also important to study the value chain of each mineral because it’s only then we can (evaluate) the midstream and downstream opportunities of each mineral for their utilisation in industries and the sustainable growth of this sector.”