National mining strategy to be unveiled in 2018

Oman will unveil its new national mining strategy in 2018, Eng Hilal al Busaidi (pictured), CEO of the Public Authority for Mining (PAM) — the regulator of the mining and mineral processing sector in the Sultanate — announced on Monday.
Speaking to Thomson Reuters Projects on the sidelines of The Mining Show held in Dubai, Eng Al Busaidi said: “The (national) mining strategy will be announced in the first quarter of 2018. We are working very hard, we have very known consultants doing the strategy.”
Thomson Reuters Zawya quoted the CEO as stating that the revised Omani mining law is in ‘the final stages of approval.’
“It has to go the parliament — Majlis Ash’shura and the State Council — for discussions. At the end of the day, we want a law where everything is put together by different parties in the government and people themselves and also taking into consideration the opinion of the investors.”
The proposed law is expected to streamline the process of obtaining mining licenses through a one-stop-shop approach and provide for longer lease periods for licenses.
Oman is working towards offering “ready-to-invest” mining blocks to make it easier for investors to obtain mining licenses, the PAM chief said.
“We are currently building the infrastructure for that. By this method, we will be offering licenses out of your desktop or laptop and process the remaining procedures through the Internet,” he said.

In July, the Public Authority for Mining appointed a consortium of consultancy firms led by UK-based mining industry specialist SRK Consulting to develop a national mining strategy for the Sultanate. Other consortium members include legal firm Mayer Brown and consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie. The new strategy is expected to provide a 10-year development framework for the mining sector.