Mining contractor Savannah Resources Plc may be able to begin mining for copper deposits in Oman as early as 2017. The company announced that it has started assessing the environmental impact of its activities in two copper mines, Mahab 4 and Maqail South.
The mining contractor said that starting the environmental impact assessment report was a major milestone as it meant that it was on track to ensure production sometime in 2017. The mines fall under one licence, and Savannah Resources will undertake a combined operation for extraction. The company went on to add that it will take about six months to prepare the report and get it approved.
Savannah Resources has estimated that the two mines together have approximately 1.7 million tonnes of 2.2 per cent copper and further high-grade copper of 6.21 per cent is located at up to 56.35 metres depth. The mining contractor revealed that the mines also have the potential to yield gold. If it does find gold deposits, Savannah would become a mid-level copper and gold producer.
Savannah Resources Chief Executive David Archer stated that the pace of work has picked up in Oman, and once the environmental assessment is completed, it will lay the foundation for other studies and tests such as baseline studies and metallurgical tests.
Archer said that since the two mines in Oman have high-quality copper deposits, they are extremely attractive. Savannah is treating them as a priority development, and later on it will develop other deposits in that area.
Mahab 4 will be an underground mine, while Maqail South will be an open-cut mine. Savannah has been conducting intensive rounds of drilling in both mines to get a more accurate picture of the mineral resources. The company stated that it will release the results of its findings in the fourth quarter of 2016.