Oman Procurement News Notice - 64821

Procurement News Notice

PNN 64821
Work Detail Creating value from Oman’s mineral resources is a priority objective at MDO Muscat: Underscoring its commitment to creating value from Oman’s mineral resources, Minerals Development Oman (MDO) – the country’s leading mining sector player – plans to participate in two key projects centring on the production of ferrosilicon and magnesium metal. The two ventures, when operational in the coming years, will bolster MDO’s expanding downstream investment portfolio. Ferrosilicon – an alloy of iron and silicon – is a strategically important commodity because of its extensive use in the production of steel, cast iron and low carbon ferroalloy. Its local availability has the potential to spur investments in an array of industrial and manufacturing projects that rely on cost-competitive ferrosilicon as a raw material. But rather than invest in a capital-intensive, green-field plant, MDO aims to harness the existing assets and capabilities of its wholly-owned subsidiary Oman Mining Company (OMCO). Launched in 1979, OMCO mined mainly copper ore from sites in Suhar and Yanqul. To support its operations, OMCO also invested in a concentrator, smelter and refining facilities with a capacity to produce around 20,000 metric tonnes of copper. Upon the depletion of copper reserves within its concessions, OMCO transformed its Suhar processing complex into a toll smelting operation. This enabled international traders to ship their copper concentrate to Suhar to be smelted into copper cathodes for a fee. The smelter is now proposed to be repurposed to support the production of ferrosilicon in Oman, according to MDO. “As part of its plan to restructure the Oman Mining Company (OMCO), MDO has decided to use its infrastructure, including land, facilities and workforce, to produce ferrosilicon. This move is expected to improve the commercial performance of OMCO,” the company explained in its recently published 2023 annual report. “During the year 2023, the MDO, in cooperation with (industrial services provider) Stork International, conducted a technical and economic evaluation to modify the copper smelting furnace of the OMCO for use in the ferrosilicon production process,” it added. Also being weighed for implementation is a magnesium metal production plant targeting dolomite and silica ores discovered in the Wilayat of Qurayat in Muscat Governorate. According to MDO, large reserves of high quality dolomite have been uncovered in the wilayat. Sizable quantities of silica ore have also been found elsewhere in the wilayat. Both resources are the main raw materials used in the manufacture of magnesium metal. A final feasibility study focusing on these resources was commissioned by MDO last year. “This project is a promising step towards utilising primary resources to add local value, through the Magnesium Metal Project, hence provides an opportunity to enhance value-added exports,” it stated in its annual report. While the ferrosilicon and magnesium metal initiatives are currently in the early stages of planning, two other downstream ventures have made considerable headway in their development. Construction of Sohar Titanium, owned 35 per cent by MDO, is well under way in Sohar Freezone. Work is progressing on the construction of furnaces for processing titanium dioxide with a capacity of around 150,000 tonnes per annum. Sohar Titanium is due to come on stream in 2025. In the adjoining Sohar Industrial City, Oman Synergies Casting — owned 14.8 per cent by MDO — is operating 1.2 million tonnes per annum aluminium alloy wheel manufacturing plant.
Country Oman , Western Asia
Industry Mining
Entry Date 18 Apr 2024

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