The Ministry of Energy and Minerals has announced an invitation for companies with experience in local and international mining projects to bid for as many as seven mining concession areas, covering a total area of 12,726 square kilometers and distributed in the governorates of Dhofar, North Al Sharqiyah and Al Buraimi.
The new blocks are home to industrial minerals such as gypsum, limestone, phosphate, dolomite and clay, as well as metallic minerals including gold, silver, copper, chromite and basalt.
Of the 7 mining blocks on offer in the latest bid round, three are located in Dhofar Governorate: Block 71 with an area of 5,638 square kilometers, Block 73 spanning an area of 1,551 square kilometers, and Block 77 covering an area of 1,355 square kilometers. These blocks are designated for extracting gypsum, limestone, dolomite, clay, and phosphates.
A further three concession areas are located the Governorate of North Al Sharqiyah: Block 22-B with an area of 1,144 square kilometers, Block 22-D covering an area of 790 square kilometers, and Block 22-E encompassing an area of 810 square kilometers. The concessions are intended for extracting gold, silver, chrome, copper, and basalt.
Located in the Governorate of Al Buraimi is Block, 11-A, with an area of 1,438 square kilometers. This concession is intended for extracting gold, silver, chrome, copper and basalt.
The latest bid round builds on renewed efforts by the Ministry to attract investment and technology in the commercialization of Oman’s mineral wealth. Recently, the Ministry signed an agreement with the British company Knights Bay granting it the concession to explore and develop mineral resources, including valuable nickel ore, in Block 21 in North Al Sharqiyah Governorate.
It was the first direct concession agreement with an international investor. Knights Bay has committed to spending between $25 – 30 million during the initial 3-year appraisal phase, covering the 1,444 square kilometer block. If successful in unearthing commercial quantities of minerals, chiefly nickel ore, Knights Bay will build, develop and process battery minerals (nickel and cobalt) in the Sultanate of Oman to meet the global demand for nickel through electric car manufacturers. Meanwhile, the deadline for submission of offers in response to the latest bid round is May 28, 2023.