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One-Stop-Shop for New Mining Licenses in Oman

Source: Oman Observer 1/16/2017, Location: Middle East

Oman’s Public Authority for Mining (PAM) is formulating a new mining exploration and development strategy, underpinned by a Single Window System for the issuance of new licenses, to help unleash the potential of the country’s prodigious mineral resources, according to a top official.

Eng Hilal al Busaidi, Chief Executive Officer, said the Single Window System will allow interested investors to apply for investment-ready blocks or concessions for development, with all of the required permits already in place.

“We are preparing a general strategy for the mining sector that will identify targets and milestones for the development of this industry over the long-term,” said Eng Al Busaidi. “Our expectation from all of the data available so far is that Oman has a lot of minerals — metallic and non-metallic — but additional appraisal is necessary in order to attract investment in development activities. This is the broad objective of the strategy.”

Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the Oman Minerals & Mining Exhibition and Conference, which began at the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre yesterday, the CEO also stressed that efforts are under way to roll out the proposed One Stop Shop for new mining licences during the course of 2017.

Based on a single window system for the processing of new mining permits, he said the One Stop Shop exemplifies efforts by the Authority to do things a “bit differently” in the way how licences are issued going forward. Contrary to the current practice that requires licence-holders themselves to apply for environmental and other permits from various government agencies before they can get the green light to start their mining activities, the new approach places the responsibility of obtaining these permits on the shoulders of the Authority itself.

Investors will be awarded pre-approved blocks that can be developed from the get go, he explained. Commenting on plans for the introduction of the long-awaited revised mining law, Eng Al Busaidi said: “The draft has been progressed very satisfactorily, with all of the parties concerned having reviewed it. It is now before the Council of Ministers before it can be sent to the Majlis for their feedback.”

Asked about efforts to develop a rail network primarily dedicated to the transportation of minerals from site to Duqm Port, the CEO stated: “Although we have very good infrastructure in terms of roads and ports, some mineral deposits are located in areas that currently lack logistics. One of the means to transport these resources to the nearest port is by rail. We are discussing with Oman Rail the possibility of a rail section linking Shuwaymiyah and Manji (where some of the mineral resources are located) with Duqm Port.”

Nasser bin Khamis al Jashmi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, presided over the opening of the 3-day exhibition and conference, which has been organised by well-known events management firm Oman Expo.

Also presenting on the first day were top officials representing Oman Mining Company, Oman Oil Company, Minerals Development Oman (under formation), Maadin Enterprises, ahlibank, Port of Salalah, Port of Duqm, Sohar Port and Freezone, Oman Shipping Company, Bedrock Mineral Resource Consulting and Rockwell Automation.

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Related Articles: Accounting, Statistics  Acquisitions and Divestitures  Asset Portfolio Management  Economics/Financial Analysis  General  Insurance  Investment  Mergers and Acquisitions  Risk Management 

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