A joint venture agreement was signed yesterday between Minerals Development Oman (MDO), the nation's mining investment flagship, and Mawarid Mining, part of the well-diversified Omani business house MB Holding, for the continued exploration and development of metallic minerals in Blocks 1&2 in North Al Batinah Governorate. The signing ceremony was held in Sundus Rotana Hotel under the auspices of Hilal bin Mohammed al Busaidy, CEO of the Public Authority for Mining (PAM). Signing on behalf of MDO was Nasser Saif al Muqbali, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, while Mawarid Mining was represented by its CEO, Tariq al Barwani.
Blocks 1 & 2 are located northwest of Suhar and cover an area of approximately 540 square kilometres. The area has been identified has having massive Sulphide volcanogenic deposits (copper, gold and silver). "Mawarid will take 60 per cent of the joint venture, with MDO holding the remaining 40 per cent," said Tariq al Barwani, CEO — Mawarid Mining. "The exploration programme, which includes gravity and survey, will take about 12-18 months."
Nasser Saif al Muqbali, MDO Deputy Chief Executive Officer, said the agreement is part of MDO's strategy to serve as a catalyst in facilitating the national vision for achieving sustainable economic development and improving the quality of life for citizens through the diversification of the Omani economy and developing the Omani mining sector. The company also aims to be an enabler and partner-of choice across chosen focus minerals and mining value chain segments. "Thus, MDO will invest in the various stages of different mineral value chains in the Sultanate," he said.
MDO was established in January 5, 2016 through the signing of a memorandum of association by the State General Reserve Fund, Oman Oil Company SAOC, Oman Investment Fund and Oman National Investment Development Company SAOC (Tanmia). MDO aims to promote investment in the Omani mining sector by providing an accessible vehicle for targeted investment in strategic mineral development; develop material mining projects of commercial viability in Oman, as a minority stakeholder with qualified domestic and international partners; maximise the value addition across the value chain through maximising capital and operational efficacy, productivity and cost effectiveness, and synergies, as well as providing business opportunity to SMEs; and attract best-in-class technologies, develop local capabilities and contribute to creating quality jobs for Omanis in the mining sector.
Mawarid Mining was established in 2000 when it was granted its first mineral exploration tenement. It was granted mining licences in Hatta, Shinas, Safwa and an underground mining licence in Mandoos. The company has five open pit completed from 2006 until 2011 where it mined 8MT @ 2.2 Cu per cent.
Mawarid is focued on the sustainable exploration and development of mineral projects domestically and internationally and through sustainable cash flow will continue to grow into a multi-commodity and world-class exploration and mining company.
The mining company is now active in Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Rwanda, Tanzania and Namibia.