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Foundation stone laid for RO 43 million Sohar Titanium project

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Sohar Titanium Company — a subsidiary of Minerals Development Oman (MDO) — celebrated the foundation stone laying of its integrated titanium dioxide plant in Sohar Free Zone on Sunday, November 13, 2022. Set on an area of 120,000 square metres, the plant is being established with an investment of RO 43 million and will feature a capacity of 150,000 tonnes per annum. It will come into commercial operation by 2025.

Sohar Titanium project is a strategic partnership between Minerals Development Oman (MDO) (35 per cent), Dubal Holding Company and Stork International Group through the Gulf Titanium Company.

On the occasion, Eng Nasser bin Saif al Maqbali, MDO's CEO, said: “Today’s celebration of laying the foundation stone for Sohar Titanium project marks the beginning of a significant journey of construction works for the company’s plant to produce titanium dioxide in cooperation with our partners. We are looking forward to celebrating the reopening and operation nearly two years from now.”

He added: “MDO's investment in this project reflects its commitment towards developing downstream industries associated with the mining sector, due to their importance to mining's role as a tributary of the national economy. MDO is pursuing this approach through a number of other projects which are under studies.”

“MDO is following a clear approach when it comes to investing in exploration projects in its concession areas. After the company confirms that commercial reserves existing, it starts to develop a value-added chain, which allows manufacturers to either invest in the minerals, attract foreign investment, or promote them and support the private sector in investing in them,” he added.

Abdullah Jassim bin Kalban, Suhar Titanium Company’s Chairman, said, "This step marks a valuable achievement for the industrial sector in the Sultanate of Oman and the region in general, as the project will contribute to the development of industries related to titanium dioxide. In addition, this partnership offers an encouraging mining investment in the Sultanate, taking advantage of the country's modern industrial infrastructure.”

Omar al Mahrizi, Chief Executive Officer of SOHAR Freezone and Deputy Chief Executive Officer of SOHAR Port said: “Mining has been identified as one of the core pillars to economic diversification within Oman Vision 2040. It is also a key driving sector alongside logistics to attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) into Oman. This is due to the Sultanate’s proximity to core markets, sea access to marine’s busiest global routes, and competitive value propositions for doing business.”

He added: “The titanium dioxide production plant is another exciting prospect reinforcing SOHAR Freezone’s ability to offer potential investors access to world-class infrastructure, facilities, and ancillary services.”

Titanium dioxide is used in a wide variety of applications, including paints, food colouring, papers, inks, toothpaste, and cosmetics. The material is also used in the production of titanium metal.

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