Perth-based minerals exploration company Alara Resources (ASX: AUQ) has received encouraging news regarding its Al Hadeetha copper project in Oman.
The copper junior said that Oman’s public authority approved its Washihi mining licence application, submitted as part of a joint venture with Al Hadeetha Resources.
With the application granted, Alara says all associated mining licence fees have now been paid.
A formal presentation of the licence and its associated terms are “expected to follow next week.”
“This represents a major milestone for the Al Hadeetha copper project and for future development of the copper sector in Oman. With global demand for copper rising and further supply deficits expected to widen in the coming years, it’s the right time to be developing a new copper mine,” said Justin Richard, chief executive officer of Alara Resources.
Alara is currently progressing a mixture of base metals projects in Saudi Arabia and Oman, which it hopes will lead to eventual production, starting with a copper mine in Oman.
The company and its joint venture partners have submitted a total of five mining licence applications in Oman, three pertaining to deposits within the Al Hadeetha copper project and two for the Daris copper project. The remaining applications are being “followed up with relevant ministries,” and approvals are expected possibly later this year.
Oman’s copper abundance
The Al Hadeetha copper project includes construction of a 1 million tonnes per annum copper concentration plant with an initial 10-year mine life. The Washihi site is located approximately 160km southeast of Alara’s Daris and Awtad copper projects and is set to become Oman’s next copper concentrate producer.
Oman has a long and illustrious history of copper production which Alara hopes to capitalise on by establishing a low-cost production mine in the country.
Increasing exploration activity in Oman seeks to link this rich history to “a new era of copper discovery and production” as Oman executes its program of economic diversification.
To position itself for becoming one of the country’s newest copper producers, Alara has completed several technical studies and submitted multiple licence applications in both Oman and Saudi Arabia.
The junior has completed a definitive feasibility study on the Khnaiguiyah zinc-copper project in Saudi Arabia, in addition to an advanced scoping study on the Daris and Washihi, Mullaq and Al Ajal exploration licences in Oman, and a further feasibility study for the Al Hadeetha copper-gold project.
Alara’s self-admitted mission is to transition into becoming “a base and precious metals mine development and production company.”
The company is now looking to the next major milestones as it continues to grow its copper portfolio in Oman and establish itself as a mineral producer with its joint venture partners.
Alara’s share price was steady at A$0.029 in late afternoon trade.