Muscat: The challenges of investing in natural minerals and maximising returns from them to increase the sector's contribution to Oman’s gross domestic product (GDP) were discussed and identified at a key event held on Wednesday.
The Industrial Innovation Centre had organised two workshops on utilising the natural mineral resources in the Sultanate. At the workshops, experts shed light on four natural minerals, namely silica, limestone, copper and chromium.
The workshops were held to enhance opportunities for the sustainable use of these important minerals and to identify investment challenges in the sector. The event comes within the framework of the centre’s efforts to develop the industrial sector and maximise the economic returns of the mining resources in Oman.
The workshops also shed light on the efforts made by the centre to develop products in the mining sector and to open up opportunities for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) for self-employment.
Experts and specialists in the field of minerals from several local and international organisations participated in the workshops. It was also attended by a large number of participants from government and private institutions dealing with the mining sector in Oman, via video communication technology.
A set of basic information about the mining sector in the Sultanate, its importance and challenges, and the potential opportunities to benefit from these minerals were reviewed at the workshops.
“The centre's objectives include diversifying sources of income for the Omani economy and to enhance the innovative performance of various sectors, including the mining sector, which we hope will expand its contribution to the country's gross domestic product (GDP),” Dr Abdullah Al Mahrouqi, CEO of the Industrial Innovation Centre, said.
Silica is used in many industrial uses, like the glass and chemical industries. The limestone is used in cement, building materials and other industries. Calcium is used in cosmetics, in water purification filters and other related uses, he said.
As for copper and chromium, the Sultanate has been famous since ancient times for mining and exporting copper, which is used in many vital industries, including the manufacture of conductors, electrical cables and others.
The Sultanate has also increased its interest in extracting chromium, the production sites of which are distributed in many regions of the Sultanate.