Oman is bordered by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the north-west, Saudi Arabia to the west and Yemen to the South West. The capital city Muscat is located on the South East coast, the main cities Sohar and Sur in the North and Salalah in the South. Oman has a coastline along the Arabian Sea. The landscape is varied, central Oman is mostly desert and there are dramatic mountain ranges along the north and south-east coasts. Oman has a population of circa. 5 million as of 2019 according to the United Nations. Oman is heavily dependent on oil and gas resources, which can generate between and 68% and 85% of government revenue, depending on fluctuations in commodity prices. More than half of Oman’s total reserves are concentrated in the northern region of the country, where six fields, Jibal, Natih, Fuhud, Al Huwaysah, Al Khuwayr, and Shaybikah, contain recoverable reserves of more than 2 billion barrels. The Wasia Group reservoir is the most productive reservoir along the Arabian Gulf. Oman, however, still remains far behind the ranks of the world’s largest oil exporters.
Copper is Oman’s other major mineral currently being exploited, historically, copper mining in Oman has existed for thousands of years. It dates back to pre-Islamic days when copper was mined and sent all over the world. Oman was then known as Majan or the land of copper. 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. In July 1991, the government established the Oman Chrome Company (OCC). The OCC was created to develop the country’s chromite reserves estimated at 2 million tons of chromite located at 600 sites throughout the country. Today, Oman is again focusing on developing its mining sector with several new projects, initiated by the Public Authority of Mining (PAM), have recently been completed including: an economic feasibility study on silica ore in Wadi Buwa and Abutan in the Wusta Region, which confirmed that there were exploitable reserves of around 28 million tonnes at the two sites.
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