Oman signs mining concession agreement with British company ‘Knights Bay’

Muscat: The Ministry of Energy and Minerals today signed a mining concession agreement with the British company “Knights Bay” to obtain the concession right in mining area No. 21 located in the Wilayat of Ibra in the Governorate of North A’Sharqiyah. The agreement aims to extract nickel and its derivatives with high purity.

The extraction process will be carried out without any carbon emissions (zero carbon). The agreement was signed by Eng. Salim Nasser Al Awfi, Minister of Energy and Minerals and Brian Spratley, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the British company “Knights Bay”.

Dr. Salah bin Hafeedh Al Dahab, Director General of Investment at the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, said that this agreement comes in line with the government’s approach to allocate mining concession areas to develop investment in the mineral sector in the Sultanate of Oman. This agreement, he pointed out, is the first mining agreement with a foreign investor.

He added that initial investments related to the exploration and appraisal phase are estimated at about USD 25 to USD 30 million in the first three years, to be spent to cover an area of 1,444 square kilometres.

In a statement to Oman News Agency (ONA), Dr. Salah said that this phase includes geological surveys and drilling of a number of exploratory and appraisal wells, as well as chemical analysis to confirm the quantities of mineral reserves according to approved international standards.

On his turn, Brian Spratley, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the British company “Knights Bay” said that the agreement is important towards achieving the strategy of the Sultanate of Oman represented in looking forward to strengthening non-oil industries and contributing to economic diversification based on Oman Vision 2040.

He told ONA that the company seeks, through the agreement, to build, develop and process battery minerals (nickel and cobalt) in the Sultanate of Oman to meet the global demand for nickel through electric car manufacturers.

The signing ceremony of the agreement was attended by Mohsen Hamad Al Hadhrami, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, officials at the Ministry, representatives of the British company and the Chargés d’affaires of the British Embassy in Muscat. – ONA

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