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Omani mining JV plans to raise Islamic finance
Al Hadeetha Resources is a 70-30 joint venture between Australian mining group Alara Resources and Oman's Al Hadeetha Investment Services. The JV is working to set up a copper-gold project at Washihi, south-east of Muscat and production is scheduled to commence in the third quarter of 2017.
According to Alara Resources, vendor financing options are also being considered with key suppliers. "The company is making steady progress towards selection of a major project financing arrangement, this includes consideration of both Shariah compliant and conventional banking products.
In addition, vendor financing options are also being considered with key suppliers", Alara Resources said in a status update issued on Sunday. Construction commencement is scheduled for the fourth quarter of this year, subject to the receipt of a mining licence. "Al Hadeetha Resources has invested over $8 million in the development of this project and looks forward to commencing mine construction as soon as possible", it said. According to Alara, Oman's Ministry of Housing and Ministry of Water & Electricity have forwarded approvals of the project to the Public Authority of Mining to further the purpose of granting licence. A feasibility study done during the first quarter of 2016 found that the company will be able to produce 77,000 tonnes of copper, and 18,000 tonnes of gold from the facility annually upon operation.
The project plans include a RO 19.2 million commercial open pit mine, to be constructed within a year. Expected project revenues is estimated at RO 167.1 million over a period of 10 years. The feasibility study was completed with support from both local and international consultants. The company's process plant is designed to process one million tonnes of copper and gold mineralised material per annum. The process plant's throughput rate is 142 tonnes per hour. The project currently includes three exploration licences -- Washihi, Al Ajal and Mullaq -- covering an area of more 100 sqkm.
In April, infill drilling was conducted on the Washihi licence. With drill spacing appropriate to the deposit geometry, the programme is directed towards further increasing the size of the resource within the indicated category. According to Alara, the feasibility study was conducted with its joint venture partner Al Hadeetha Investments. "The outcome of the discussions was very positive with good community support for the project. This community feedback, coupled with subsequent meetings at relevant ministry offices and recent public announcements on streamlining of approval processes, all bode well for Al Hadeetha's Washihi mining licence application", Alara said.
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