‘No Omanisation exceptions for mining investors’
April 15, 2019 | 9:27 PM
by Times News Service
Photo- @omanpammedia/ For illustration purpose only

Muscat: Companies hoping to cash in on Oman’s promising mining sector will have to abide by the Omanisation quota, according to the CEO of the Public Authority for Mining.

Eng. Hilal bin Mohammed Al Busaidi, CEO of the Public Authority for Mining, told Times of Oman, “We are not the kind of authority which would offer Omanisation exceptions to investors. As far as we are concerned, any investor hoping to work in Oman’s mining future must offer a feasibility plan that includes its Omanisation quota, as well as which jobs will be Omanised, and we will not approve any plan that neglects this aspect. We will also monitor the implementation of these plans.”

This Oman Mining Expo was inaugurated by His Highness Sayyid Harib bin Thuwaini Al Said, Assistant Secretary General of the Council of Ministers for Conferences.

“One of the primary reasons for drawing in foreign investment is for us to be able to create these jobs,” al Busaidi added.

“These jobs will go beyond particular specialisations. The mining sector has different job levels and types of work, and when a company gives us an investment offer to consider, we will insist on hiring Omanis in all the different levels and types of work. This is a condition for investment in areas of excellence.”

An official in the authority added, “Currently, minimum Omanisation targets are 35% in the private mining sector, although this is likely to increase year on year in the same way that it did for the oil and gas sectors.”

The mining sector in Oman is promising, with Al Busaidi saying, “There are riches to the East, West, North, and South of the Sultanate. We take this information and convert it into data, which can then inform the sector.”

Higher contribution

“GDP contribution from mining this year so far is 15% higher than the contribution last year,” he said.

Alex Bevacqua, Head of Metals and Mining Consulting at Wood Mackenzie, a global stockbroker and consultancy firm, believes that Oman has done well so far in attracting investment.

“As you can see, after the recent financial crisis, multiple countries have begun reforms to introduce more mining. Oman has also done so to improve the sector and make it more attractive for investment.”

According to him, the mining sector can create jobs and boost revenue if countries can take steps to become lenient with investing companies, especially in terms of taxation.

Gestation period

“It can take 10-15 years from discovering the minerals to production,” he said.

This came during the opening of the Oman Mining Expo on 16 April at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre, which was inaugurated by His Highness Sayyid Harib bin Thuwaini Al Said, Assistant Secretary General of the Council of Ministers for Conferences. During this opening, Sayyid Harib also launched the website of the Public Authority for Mining.

Sayyid Harib inaugurated Oman Mining Expo on Monday at the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre.

The ceremony was opened with a welcome address by Hilal Al Busaidi, CEO, Public Authority for Mining (PAM), followed by keynote speeches by Engr. Adel Saqer Alsaqer, Director General, Arab Industrial Development and Mining Organization (AIDMO) and Alex Bevacqua, Global Head, Metals and Mining Consulting, Wood Mackenzie.

Oman Mining Expo, Oman’s landmark industry event and the Middle East’s leading mining show, organised by Public Authority for Mining (PAM) and Omanexpo, is open to trade visitors from the 15 to the 17 of April, offering an international platform to showcase current industrial projects that will attract local and international mining firms to invest in the Sultanate as well as products, services, technology and equipment related to mining operations.

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