MUSCAT: The mining labs’ 43 new initiatives and projects are expected to increase three-fold the mining sector’s contribution to Oman’s GDP by 2023. The sector’s contribution is likely to touch RO 378 million. The value of these initiatives is estimated at RO 813 million — 99 per cent from the private sector and not more than 1 per cent from the government. The government role involves establishing infrastructure, facilitating and building systems for enabling the sector. The new initiatives will help provide 1,660 direct job opportunities for Omanis and raise the mining production from 100 million tonnes in 2016 to 147 million tonnes by 2023. The mining labs’ initiatives was organised by Public Authority for Mining (PAM) and backed by the Implementation Support and Follow-up Unit.
These are in addition to recommendations that will raise the level of competitiveness in the sector by introducing mining areas system.
During the third week of the labs, conducted between March 18 and April 26, a committee was constituted to accelerate mining projects. Its aim was to discuss projects suggested by the labs in addition to the applications submitted previously. This was to speed up procedures.
Since its formation, the committee worked at an accelerated pace and reviewed the submitted projects. Since these projects need approvals from several entities, the Implementation Support and Follow-up Unit involved a number of entities — Public Authority for Mining, Royal Oman Police, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs, Ministry of Housing, Ministry of Heritage and Culture, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Tourism, and Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources.
The committee conducted 11 meetings, one every two weeks. During these meetings, 68 projects were discussed and 15 of them approved. Moreover, 44 projects are still under process, while one was rejected because it did not comply with the requirements of the permits or the committee’s standards.
This is in addition to 110 applications related to mining areas, two of which were approved.
The committee, in coordination with relevant entities, visited sites of the investment applications. It conducted two site visits, the first to Ibri Marbles site and the second to Daris, in the Wilayat of Al Rustaq.
During these visits, the committee discussed challenges facing the projects and contacted relevant entities to find suitable solutions.
Implementation Support and Follow-up Unit is responsible of providing support to government entities to implement their plans and programmes.
This is done by following up on the implementation of government programmes, including ‘National Program for Enhancing Economic Diversification’ and ‘Sharakah’, an initiative of Diwan of Royal Court, along with other projects. — ONA