Muscat: Oman government is planning to regulate the resale of mining concession licences by companies to check unhealthy practices.
“We are regulating the resale of (mining) licences, which means you don’t take a licence to sell it. You don’t own the licence, rather you own the business. There will be regulations on how much a company uses out of the site, just allow them to trade it. The licence does not have a value, rather the business has a value,” Dr Ali Masoud Al Sunaidi, minister of commerce and industry, told journalists on the sidelines of an event to sign an agreement establishing Mining Development Oman (MDO).
It may be noted that non-oil sector contributed 18 per cent of the Sultanate’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014 and mining sector alone contributed 2 per cent of the GDP in 2013.
Oman’s new mining law, which was recently drafted by the Public Authority for Mining and is awaiting approval from relevant ministries, and will help attract investment and develop the sector to enhance its contribution to the country’s GDP.
The Public Authority for Mining is also formulating a mineral strategy to enhance the sector’s contribution to GDP. In fact, Oman witnessed strong growth in industrial minerals, especially during the last decade.
Gypsum production surged ahead six times between 2010 and 2014, while limestone output soared from 4.6 million tonnes to 8.7 million tonnes per year during the period. Cement and marble production also rose in the last five years. The Sultanate is a leading producer of chromite and the country is the second leading producer of gypsum, after Iran, in the region, according to 2014 data.