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Oman Non-oil Minerals
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
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    Copper mine near Suhar; copper has been mined in Oman since ancient times.
    Courtesy Embassy of the Sultanate of Oman, Washington


    View of multiple-highway system near Al Khuwayr, linking the sultanate's major cities
    Courtesy Embassy of the Sultanate of Oman, Washington

    The sultanate produces copper, chromite, gold, and silver. Oman's main copper reserves are in the Suhar area on the Al Batinah coast. The processing of ore at the Suhar complex, operated by the government-owned Oman Mining Company, began in 1983. The production of chromite by the Oman Mining Company also began in 1983 in the Suhar area. Exports of the Oman Mining Company are primarily destined to the Far East market. In 1990 Taiwan accounted for 38.5 percent of exports, followed by Japan with 11.1 percent and South Korea with 2.9 percent.

    In July 1991, the government established the Oman Chrome Company (OCC), in which it holds a 15 percent share. The remainder of the shares are held by the private sector. The OCC was created to develop the country's chromite reserves--estimated by the Robertson Group of Britain and the Bureau des Recherches Géologiques et Minières of France at 2 million tons of chromite-- at 600 sites throughout the country. The public offering of OCC shares reflects the government's official policy of encouraging private-sector participation in industry and manufacturing.

    Limestone for cement production is mined in both the northern and the southern areas to supply the Oman Cement Company's plant in the Rusayl Industrial Estate near As Sib and the Raysut Cement Corporation's plant near Salalah. Tile and marble are also produced for local construction.

    Surveys have indicated deposits of numerous other materials-- asbestos, coal, iron ore, lead, manganese, nickel, silver, and zinc. Large deposits of metal ores are located at the Sayh Hatat area (northeast of Izki) and the Al Jabal al Akhdar area. Substantial deposits of zinc and lead are known to exist in Dhofar, Jalan, and Hawshi Huqf (southwest of Al Ghabah). The feasibility of exploiting coal reserves at Al Kamil, near Sur, to replace oil in electric power generation, is being studied. A preliminary study on coal completed in 1990 by the UN Department of Technical Cooperation for Development estimates coal reserves in the sultanate at 22 million tons, a figure considered adequate for domestic use but not for export.

    Data as of January 1993

    NOTE: The information regarding Oman on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Oman Non-oil Minerals information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Oman Non-oil Minerals should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.

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Revised 27-Mar-05
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