Al Hadeetha to start copper concentrate plant construction by year-end
October 10, 2017 | 4:54 PM
by A E JAMES/[email protected]
Justin Richard, chief executive officer and managing director of Alara Resources. - Picture by Shabin E/ Times of Oman

Muscat: Al Hadeetha Resources, a 70:30 joint venture between Australia-based Alara Resources and Al Hadeetha Investment Services, plans to start construction of a copper concentrate plant by the end of the year.

This is subject to the company getting a mining license from the Public Authority for Mining, said a senior official from Alara Resources.

The planned copper concentrate will be located at Washihi, around 160 kilometres south-east of Muscat, and the plant is expected to start operations in 2018.

“The copper concentrate plant will process one million tonnes of ore to produce 30,000 tonnes of copper concentrates per annum,” Justin Richard, chief executive officer and managing director of Alara Resources, said, on the sidelines of a second annual conference on Mining Investment Middle East and Central Asia.

He further said that a 75 kilometre-long buried pipeline from Nizwa to the mine site will transport 2,400 cubic metres of water.

The total project cost of Al Hadeetha Resource’s mining venture is estimated at $270 million, which includes a capital expenditure of $59 million. The production will start in 2018 and the estimated output would be 321,000 tonnes of copper concentrates over the first decade of operation. This is the largest single jorc copper deposit in Oman.

Richard added that Al Hadeetha Resources has three exploration licenses (Washishi, Mullaq and Al Ajal) and has also applied for a mining license.

Also, Daris Resources LLC, which is a 50:50 joint venture between Alara Resources and Tammam Trading, has an exploration license for block 7 and has applied for two mining licenses.

Alara Resources (Oman) LLC, another joint venture between Alara Resources and Sur United, has also applied for an exploration license, but is yet to get a permission.

Richard noted that his company is also looking at the possibility of building a copper smelter.

“There is no smelter in the Gulf region now. Oman had a copper smelter, which was closed down. There is enough copper concentrate here for setting up a smelter. Copper concentrate is also produced in Saudi Arabia, which is shipped outside the region,” explained Richard.

The entire process—mining, concentrating and smelting—can be carried out within the country, which will help to retain the entire production process in Oman.

Several experts presented their papers on the developments in the mining sector in Oman at the Mining Investment Middle East and Central Asia Conference, which was organised by Spire Events.

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