Green Tech Mining & Services (GTMS), a subsidiary of Vienna-based BPG Precious Metal Storage, has been awarded a contract to treat the processed tailings of a new copper-gold project due to commence operations in Al Mudhaibi Wilayat (North Al Sharqiyah Governorate) later this year.
Al Hadeetha Resources LLC, a partnership of Alara Resources of Australia and Oman-based investors, is developing the copper-gold project at Al Washi-hi Majaza in Al Mudhaibi. At the heart of the venture, which will kick off a new phase of copper mining in the Sultanate of Oman, is a 1 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) capacity copper concentration plant currently nearing completion at the mine site.
Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by Al Hadeetha Resources earlier this week, Green Tech Mining will reprocess all of the processed tailings generated from the project over the estimated 10-year life of the development. Additionally, the two parties will collaborate on the formulation of a feasibility study to identify environmentally safe options for the disposal of the tailings.
Tailings are the left-over materials from the processing of mined ore. If suitably reprocessed, they can be a source of valuable minerals. But if contaminated with chemicals, heavy metals and other hazardous ingredient, they must be made safe before their eventual disposal.
In a statement following the MoU signing, Atmavireshwar Sthapak, Managing Director of Alara and AHRL, said: “Al Hadeetha Resources continues to set new benchmarks by constantly looking for alternative ways for sustainable project growth and development.
We look forward to a positive outcome of the tailings disposal feasibility study. If proven viable, our partnership with GTMS will offer an alternative, more environmentally beneficial approach to disposing of processed waste from the Al Wash-hi – Majaza project in Oman. Designing and building an appropriate processed tailings storage facility at the project site will proceed according to the original plan until the feasibility study is completed by GTMS.”
Ernst Grissemann, Chairman and CEO of Green Tech Mining, commented: “The pioneering role of Al Hadeetha for Oman’s mining industry, in becoming the first copper producer in Oman after 2016, is manifested in it also becoming the first private mining entity in Oman to recognise the importance of an environmentally sound approach to handling tailings. In pairing with Green Tech Mining, Al Hadeetha is adopting a proven way to sustainably handle any potential long-term negative impact from the copper production waste stream.”
Significantly, Green Tech Mining & Services was founded by wholly government-owned Oman Mining Company (OMCO), in 2018 to help introduce green mining technologies and residual remediation solutions in Oman. Since its launch, Green Tech Mining has been focused on addressing the sizable stockpiles of tailings and residuals left over from previous mining project sites in Suhar and Yanqul.
Besides supporting remediation efforts, which is key to the sustainable growth of the mining sector, Green Tech Mining also foresees the potential for the recovery of metal concentrates and minerals, which can then be processed to unlock any further value through the circular economy route or as feedstock for downstream value creation.