Being the Sultanate's mining leader, exploration is the cornerstone of MDO's business strategy that aims at providing a sufficient mineral resource base in order to meet market needs while contributing to the country's GDP growth.
MDO focuses on developing a range of projects across the mining value chain, from upstream and downstream through its subsidiaries and developing projects related to mining. This is done by focusing on a number of strategic minerals found in the mountains of the Sultanate including metallic minerals such as gold, copper and chromite as well as industrial minerals such as dolomite, gypsum, and limestone.
MDO continues to expand its exploration activities, determine the types and quantities of mineral resources and provide accurate estimates to investors by implementing the latest technologies in the exploration and evaluation of mineral resources to be exploited to serve the rapidly growing needs of the company.
At MDO, we continuously harness our experience, develop human cadres, and establish local and global partnerships to provide a sufficient Omani mineral resource base while pushing the wheel of its marketing forward.
MDO is focused on speeding up its upstream activities, such as sampling, ground and aerial geophysical surveys, drilling, crushing, milling, and raw material extraction, as well as its midstream activities including processing, smelting, and refining.
MDO has a wide portfolio of upstream projects, including the following:
A Copper and Gold project in Wilayat of Yanqul in Ad Dhahirah governorate with an area of about 370 KM2. It is 260 km far from Muscat and 140 km from Suhar. The project consists of five copper and gold mines which occupy 10% of the total area.
Among the key projects the company has been developing since 2017 is Shaleem Industrial Minerals Project. MDO was granted exploration and development rights after conducting the first geological study in Shaleem which found large reserves of gypsum and high purity limestone and dolomite. This was followed by a preliminary study of the market and logistical solutions necessary for the feasibility of the project in 2020. The project is located in Al Shuwaymiya on an area of 1,500 KM2. The project, if implemented according to the company's vision, will constitute a turning point for the mining sector in the Sultanate, and a good opportunity to create an important economic community in Shaleem through sustainable, social, and economic developments.
This project aims to extract salt from seawater in Wilayat of Mahout, about 170 km from Duqm. The project focuses on producing high purity salt to be exploited in various ways including exporting to regional and international markets, used in downstream chemical projects, and applied in other industrial applications. The plan is to build salt evaporation ponds that can produce about 1.5 million tons of raw salt annually.
MDO is collaborating with Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) to study the possibility of producing raw salt from the deep waters associated with oil production. These deep waters are found in several PDO sites, which are studied and assessed as a part of the project. The saline solution produced from deep water is 3.5 times more saturated with sodium chloride than seawater; in addition, it is purer than the salt extracted from seawater due to its chemical properties.
In September 2021, MDO announced the commencement of commercial operations of Ahjaar project in Wilayat of Liwa in Al Batinah North governorate with a production capacity of 2.4 million tons of gabbro annually. Since obtaining the exploration license, the Company has conducted geological and economic feasibility studies that revealed a recoverable amount of about 211 million tons of gabbro in a mine life of about 50 years, covering an area of 2.2 KM2. Purchase agreements were also signed for 2.4 million tons of gabbro. The shareholders have ambitious plans to increase production to reach 5 million tons in the next phase.
This project aims at developing a plant for the mass production and export of cement grade limestone to international markets through Duqm port. This step represents a remarkable leap in overcoming the challenges resulting from the deceleration in construction activities in the Duqm region.
The initial feasibility study conducted by MDO revealed a recoverable amount of about 15 million tons of high-purity limestone in its concession area in Wadi Al-Jizzi. About one million tons of material will be produced annually, which will serve the steel plants as well as other customers in Al Batinah region.
Investment and development in the value chain of the mining sector, particularly in downstream mining activities, constitute one of the main pillars of MDO's development strategy. The company's policy aims to utilize extracted mineral ores by directing them to local industrial projects and creating added-value projects. This will contribute to creating new economic opportunities and making the utmost use of natural mineral resources in the Sultanate.
MDO has signed a partnership agreement to develop a titanium dioxide production plant in the Sohar Free Zone on an area of more than 120,000 square meters, with a capacity of 150,000 tons per year, and a cost of RO 43 million. The project is expected to provide more than 300 job opportunity. Under the agreement, MDO will own 35% of the project shares, while the remaining shares will be owned by strategic partners, most notably Stork International, a leading company in field of manufacturing products related to titanium dioxide, which is mainly used in pigment industry.
This project aims to develop a plant for aluminum wheels manufacturing in Suhar Industrial Area with a production capacity of 2.1 million tons, as the first plant to produce high-quality aluminum wheels for vehicles, in partnership between several local, international companies and other government entities.
MDO focuses to develop plants for silica, magnesium, chromite and limestone calcination, which are all important industries that can be implemented if the required raw materials with a good quality are ensured.
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