Muscat: Oman’s mining industry has urged authorities to allow companies to transfer their licence for concession areas to another party as several firms are holding their licences without doing anything.
The authorities should find a solution to transfer inactive licences. “Give them a year or so to transfer the licence, allow them to get some benefit because they also made an effort to get the licence,” said Salim Abdullah Al Rawas, chairman of Kunooz Oman Holding, on the sidelines of signing a shareholder agreement with Oman Investment Fund. “Keeping it that way will not serve any purpose.”
The private sector mining firms earlier asked for clear clauses for speedy processing of mining licences in a move to avoid project delays.
Al Rawas said that several companies are holding their licences without doing anything. “There is no clear law on how to deal with such licences. They should make the regulation transparent and clear and should solve the (problem of) licences which are not active,” he added.
Dr. Ali Masoud Al Sunaidi, minister of commerce and industry, early this year said that the government is planning to regulate resale of mining concession licences by companies to check unhealthy practices.
Al Rawas also noted that his company has submitted several applications for getting licences for mining concessions. “We are following-up with the Public Authority for Mining. We will get the approval in due course.”
Oman’s new mining law, which was recently drafted by the Public Authority for Mining and is awaiting approvals from relevant ministries, will help attract investment and develop the sector to enhance its contribution in the country’s gross domestic product.
The Public Authority for Mining is also formulating a mineral strategy to enhance the sector’s contribution in gross domestic product.
The Sultanate has ample opportunity to develop copper, chromite, limestone and gypsum, thanks to availability of raw materials, better infrastructure and port facilities, strategic location and opportunity to export it to overseas markets.