Alara Resources (ASX:AUQ) is driving Oman into a renewable renaissance with accelerating copper production


The surge in demand for copper, driven by a pivotal role in supporting green energy and sustainable products, sets the stage for a potential 75% surge in copper prices over the next two years.

Analysts anticipate copper prices could soar up to US$15,000 a ton in 2025, surpassing the record peak of US$10,730 per ton scaled in March last year, with the renewable energy sector emerging as a significant catalyst.

Oman based mining and exploration company, Alara Resources (ASX:AUQ), has positioned itself as a key player in this equation. Evolving from an exploration-focused entity to a miner and producer, Alara has undertaken a transformative rebrand to emphasise its commitment to sustainable metal production, particularly focusing on copper extraction, expanding its main operations in Oman.

Current Copper Production

Copper’s indispensability across various industries underscores the continuous demand for the essential metal, utilised in power generation, transmission, construction, factory equipment, and electric vehicles.

As recently as 2022, the appetite for copper was primarily driven by demand in China, with imports totalling nearly US$69 billion.The United States followed in second with imports valued at US$15.6 billion, reflecting the global demand for copper.

At the forefront of Alara’s initiatives is its flagship project, the Al Wash-hi Majaza Copper-Gold Project in Oman, developed by its JV Company in Oman, Al Hadeetha Resources, that emphasises the company’s dedication to renewable energy production in the region.

In recent years, the mining sector has become one of the focal point of the Oman government’s economic diversification program, facilitated by dedicated unit in Government known as “Tanfeedh” (Implementation). It is deemed as one of the most prospect sectors for companies operating in Oman and foreign investors, and is seen as crucial for overall growth in the Sultanate.

Alara has reaffirmed its commitment to Oman which has resulted in the OmanGovernment giving serious consideration to allowing the company to expand its footprint in the country by awarding it additional areas for exploration and new project developments.

Currently, Alara is well positioned to expedite both exploration and development initiatives with current licence approvals and secured finance in place. With production having commenced at the Al Wash-hi Majaza Copper-Gold Project – Alara’s first working mine – recent developments are expected to revolutionise copper production in the Gulf state.

“The commencement of concentrate production is a momentous occasion for Alara and its shareholders. This represents the culmination of 12 years’ hard work, from project site identification through resource definition, detailed engineering studies, debt and equity financing and the construction phase just completed.” AUQ Managing Director Atmavireshwar Sthapak said

In anticipation of early shipments, Alara had set a Q2 monthly target of 1,000 dry metric tonnes of copper concentrate marking the commencement of commercial operations.

Future Plans

In addition to Wash-hi Majaza copper deposit, Alara have plans to develop identified promising copper resources and mineralisation in three other exploration licenses in Oman, including the Daris East prospect in Block 7, as well as intersections of copper mineralisation at the Daris 3A5, Al Ajal, and Mullaq prospects. With recently awarded concession over 1452 km2 as Block 22B Alara now have access to large, relatively unexplored area within Ophiolite belt for multi commodity exploration and new discoveries.

Alara’s strategic vision revolves around establishing a hub-and-spoke model in Oman by developing multiple satellite mines across the country to supply copper ore to the Washi-hi Majaza processing plant.

The company is currently engaged in negotiations with relevant authorities for the renewal of existing exploration licenses such as Block 7 and Block 8, and the granting of new mining licenses to execute this strategy.

“Understanding the indispensable role copper will play paving the way for renewable energies and sustainable technologies, while confronting any unforeseen challenges and bumpy terrains, Alara decided to redefine its vision with an uncompromising commitment to the planet, the communities we serve, and our shareholders.” Alara’s Non-Executive Director Devaki Khimji said.

Diversification

Oman possesses an abundance of mineral resources, with many metals and industrial minerals largely unexplored. Oman’s mountainous landscape are untouched and reveal visible ophiolites, potentially containing deposits of various metals such as chromite, cobalt, copper, gold, lead, magnesium, manganese, nickel, palladium, platinum, silver, vanadium, and zinc.

Alara’s strategic focus extends to diversification into new projects and commodities, with Oman a priority destination for future investment. The company aims is to broaden its horizons beyond copper into other commodities, such as gold, PGE, nickel, chromite, etc, reflecting its commitment to unlocking the full potential of Oman’s treasure trove.

“Setting our exploration and development of new projects in our portfolio. Our aim is to diversify our commodities base beyond copper while we evolve strategic exploration programs and potential partnerships and acquisitions,” Khimji said.

“Adopting a dual approach entails optimising our current operations and expanding our copper portfolio while diversifying into other minerals – predominantly for financial stability and to facilitate growth. By maximising output at the Al Wash-hi project we will secure a revenue stream to empower our exploration and development activities,” she added.

“Diversifying helps to prevent risks associated with market volatility and places us in a stronger position to meet the demands and needs of a green economy.”

“In so doing we will be well prepared to enter the next phase, align our resources and focus on these exciting new objectives”.

Sustainability

Alara’s rebrand has also shifted the company’s focus to sustainability and its commitment to economic, environmental and social responsibilities. By fostering partnerships and prioritising environmental conservation, Alara aims to have a positive impact on local communities and advance green technologies.

“We are dedicated to building a sustainable future for the planet. The resources we extract play a crucial role in advancing green technologies, from electric cars to renewable energy. We aim to ensure that the materials we mine today pave the way for a better tomorrow,” Sthapak said.

“Our dedication to sustainability extends beyond extraction. We aim to pave the way for a better tomorrow through responsible mining practices.”

“As we forge ahead, we are grateful for the unwavering support of our stakeholders. Together, we are building a future where responsible mining drives economic prosperity and environmental stewardship,” Sthapak said of the vision.

Looking Ahead

Grateful for the support of local communities in Oman and the government, Alara is poised to capitalise on ever increasing opportunities in the copper market, opening a new and stimulating chapter of sustainable mining for both country and company.


arrow-down-2 Created with Sketch. arrow-down-2 Created with Sketch.