Oman - Country Commercial Guide
Mining and Minerals
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Mining is one of the Omani government’s focus sectors under its economic diversification program. Oman’s mining industry has attracted increasing interest from both foreign and local operators as Oman was the first GCC producer and exporter of ferrochrome. MEM, and Minerals Development Oman (MDO), the government-backed mining and mineral processing firm are responsible for developing and driving investments to the sector. MEM’s Industry Development of Energy and Minerals unit focuses on developing the downstream processing of minerals and value-addition in-country instead of exporting unprocessed raw materials.

The Law of Mineral Wealth of 2019 contains provisions relating to exploration and expropriation activities, as well as the types of permits and available concession agreements. The law provides for a minimum mining license period of five years, and flexible royalties.

Although numerous quarrying and mining operations are underway, Oman’s mineral resources, including metals and industrial minerals, are still relatively untapped. Oman’s mountains host intact and exposed ophiolites, which could contain metal deposits such as chromite, cobalt, copper, gold, lead, magnesium, manganese, nickel, palladium, platinum, silver, vanadium, and zinc. The following are some of the minerals in Oman that hold promise:

Gypsum: Oman is the world’s largest gypsum exporter by weight, shipping approximately 8.74 million tons in 2021 primarily to ASEAN and South/East African countries, according to local press.

Chromite: Approximately 30 million metric tons of chromite ore are in Oman, according to the Oman Chromite Company. Oman is exporting metallurgical grade chromite ores in response to rising demand from China and shortages of ferrochrome worldwide.

Copper: Oman has identified large-scale copper mining as a strategic project and several foreign mining companies are active in Oman. A joint venture with an Australia-based mining firm plans to construct a copper concentration plant that would produce one million metric tons per year.

Other Materials: Surveys have indicated deposits of asbestos, coal, iron ore, lead, manganese, nickel, silver, and zinc.

Leading Sub-Sectors

Main Metallic Minerals: Copper, Chromite, Laterite, Manganese

Industrials Minerals and Rocks: Limestone, Marble, Dolomite, Gypsum, Silica sands and Quartzite, Clays and Shale, Salt, Coal, Olivine, Kaoline, Salt, Aggregates


In March 2023, Oman invited companies to bid for seven new mining concessions across the country, with prospects for gypsum, dolomite, limestone, phosphates, clay, copper, gold, silver, and chrome.  The same month, the Ministry of Energy and Minerals announced that it had signed its first mining agreement with a foreign investor, UK based Knights Bay to extract nickel and its derivatives.

Although foreign firms can acquire mining permits, foreign investors still face considerable bureaucratic and environmental challenges and may only be able to enter the market as service contractors or joint venture partners with Omani firms.

Oman has longstanding plans to develop an internal rail network for the transportation of minerals from the southern interior to the Port of Duqm for processing and refining.


Ministry of Energy and Minerals

Mineral Development Oman