Oman plans to develop a integrated mining area in Dhofar

Business Saturday 24/June/2023 17:16 PM
Oman plans to develop a integrated mining area in Dhofar

Muscat: Minerals Development Oman is working to develop an integrated world-class mining area in Shuwaymiyah in the Wilayat of Shalim and the Hallaniyat Islands in the Dhofar Governorate.

This project consists of three main quarries that will produce 40 million tonnes of limestone, dolomite and gypsum ores.

Eng. Nasser bin Saif Al-Muqbali, CEO of Minerals Development Oman, said that the Shuwaimiyah industrial minerals project is one of the most prominent strategic projects in the production of industrial minerals that the company is working on within its concession areas, with an estimated area of 1,500 square kilometres.

He pointed out that the construction works of the Shuwaimiya project will start in 2024, and commercial operation is expected to start in 2027.

This will encourage the development of export operations and the establishment of downstream projects, such as the manufacture of steel, fertilizers, cement and chemical industries, the CEO of Minerals Development Oman Company.

He said that the company started the first geological study of the project in 2017, after which preliminary economic feasibility studies were conducted in 2020, which confirmed the existence of promising commercial reserves of industrial raw materials that can be developed in the upper and lower parts, followed was by detailed economic feasibility studies in the past year, which will be completed within this year. The construction work of the project will begin in 2024 while commercial operation is expected to start in 2027.

He pointed out that limestone ore is one of the most abundant minerals in the Sultanate of Oman, with a stock of 2.5 billion tonnes and a purity of 99 percent, as limestone is used in many basic industries, including: steel, cement and chemical industries.

Engineer Nasser Al-Muqbali said: “The project will work on producing dolomite stone, whose reserves amount to 1.3 billion tonnes, with a concentration of 19 percent of magnesium. Dolomite ore will be used in the fertilizer, steel and glass industries.”

He indicated that gypsum ore is one of the industrial mineral raw materials available in commercial quantities in the Sultanate, with a stock of 960 million tonnes, with a high purity of up to 97 percent. It is a main component in the cement, gypsum board and fertilizer industries.

He pointed out that the mining port is an essential facility in the project, with a depth of 20 metres and a capacity for handling through three dedicated cranes. The port will also include three berthing areas that can accommodate two Panamax vessels and one Cape class vessel at the same time.