Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Gulf Mining planning big industry investment

Oman-based Gulf Mining Group plans to invest in a substantive portfolio of mining-related ventures including a potash mine over the 2017-2018 timeframe, a report said.

Planned initiatives include investments in a new calcium carbonate project in Sohar, a ferro-manganese smelter in Freezone Sohar, a manganese beneficiation plant, a gypsum board manufacturing facility in Salalah, and a world-scale ‘sulphate of potash’ venture in Duqm, Mohammed al Shabibi, group vice chairman was quoted as saying in an Oman Observer report.

A new 120,000 metric tonnes per annum capacity calcium carbonate project is proposed to be set up at Sohar Industrial Estate, the report said.

Limestone as feedstock for the plant will be sourced from one of Gulf Mining’s large portfolio of licensed mines. The facility, set for launch in 2018, is expected to create over 100 direct jobs.

“Gulf Mining Group is in the process of developing a potash mine and building a plant in central Oman,” the vice-chairman said, noting that full production is slated by 2020 with a pilot facility set to come on stream next year. Raw potash production, initially targeted at 500,000 metric tonnes per annum, will be scaled up to 1 million metric tonnes over a five year period.

“These facilities could become one of the largest potash plants in the region with a minimum investment of approximately RO 115 million ($297 million) over the minimum estimated project lifespan of 20 years,” said Al Shabibi. “An estimated 500-plus direct jobs are anticipated, while on the downstream side, the employment generation potential is estimated at 1,000 — 2,000-plus jobs.”

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