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JV secures RO 26m funding for major copper project in Oman

A truck hauls ore at Lomas Bayas open pit mine, Chile
A truck hauls ore at Lomas Bayas open pit mine, Chile

Muscat: Al Hadeetha Resources  — the Omani-Australian joint venture behind the planned development of a major copper mining project in Oman — has secured RO 26 million (€60 million) in in investment from SAMA Global Investment, headquartered in Doha, Qatar.

Al Hadeetha Resources is a partnership of Perth-based Alara Resources which owns 70 per cent of the JV while and Al Hadeetha Investment, a local firm owns the remaining 30 per cent.

Alara said the funds would be used for the development of the Washihi-Mazzaza copper project located in North Al Sharqiyah Governorate in Oman.

The investment will be applied principally to fund construction of mine-site infrastructure for a 1 million tonne per annum processing plant at the project. Al Hadeetha may also utilise the funds to develop other projects as mutually agreed, the JV announced in a statement.

Under the terms of the agreement, the investment will be secured over Al Hadeetha’s mining licence and related assets.  Following a 24-month grace period, Al Hadeetha will pay in quarterly instalments a fee equal to 1.5 per cent per annum of the total investment amount over a six-year term, making a total of eight-year term agreement.

Alara chairman James Phipps said the investment agreement reflected the inherent value of the Washhi-Mazzaza copper project and the strength of Alara’s joint venture relationship in Oman. “Execution of Alara’s strategy to develop and expand its project portfolio beyond Washhi-Mazzaza will also be strengthened by the SAMA investment,” he added.

Alara managing director Justin Richard also welcomed the finance deal with SAMA. “We expect the relationship with banks and other financiers to be further strengthened by the SAMA Investment Agreement, with other finance options still under consideration for targeted project development opportunities,” he said.

The Washihi-Mazzaza copper project comprises three exploration licences covering approximately 80 square kilometres and is located approximately 160 km southeast of the Daris Copper Project and Awtad Copper Project on the Semail Ophiolite belt in northern Oman.

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