Oman is set to announce a new mining law, which is drafted by the Public Authority for Mining (PAM), in the first half of this year.
With the new law, the country’s mining sector will be made more attractive to investors and will be developed to export more metals and extracted minerals. Explaining the details of the plan, director general of Research and Geological Surveys, Ali Al Rajahi, said:
“We are expecting to have the law passed by mid of this year. The law will focus on several areas, which include developing the local community and environment of mining. A very important factor is changing the people’s mentality towards mining sector. We will work to help local communities develop through mining activities.”
The law is also designed to streamline the current process of obtaining license for mining, which is said to be very tedious. Chief executive officer of PAM, Hilal Al Busaidi, stated, “We have progressed very satisfactorily so far. The proposed law was finalised by all reviewing parties and now it is with the Council of Ministers and it will be send to Majlis Al’Shura.”
Overall, PAM will use the new mining law to provide more attention to investing in the sector, establish mining areas for investment, identify the investment competition procedures, increase the validity period of permits, facilitate the approval process, provide legal protection for geological heritage, set stricter penalties, give broader powers for mining inspectors and law enforcers, and participate in community development.