Alara Resources Limited announced that it has expanded its copper portfolio in Oman by acquiring an interest in the Awtad copper-gold Project located adjacent to the Daris copper-gold project.
The Project contains known occurrence of copper mineralisation based upon previous exploration.
The Project area adjoins one of Alara’s existing JV projects in Oman and bolsters the “hub and spoke” mining model considered in previous studies.
Awtad Copper Gold Project
The Awtad copper project includes a copper exploration licence (Block 8) of 497km2 granted to Awtad Copper LLC, and is contiguous with the Block 7 (587km2) which is part of another Alara joint venture with Al Tamman Trading Establishment (a wholly owned subsidiary of Muscat Overseas Group).
The Company has signed a binding Heads of Agreement granting Alara an initial 10% interest in the Project and a right to increase to a 70% shareholding in Awtad Copper LLC.
Alara first entered an agreement with Awtad Copper LLC in 2011. At that time, the Company had ten projects across four countries and three continents. In light of the limited progress that had been made on Block 8 relative to Alara’s other projects (n.b. Alara was in the final stages of completing a Feasibility Study in Saudi Arabia), a decision was made to withdraw from the Project and focus on the zinc-copper project in Saudi.
More recently, Alara announced a maiden ore reserve for the Al Hadeetha copper-gold project in Oman, underpinned by a 1 Mtpa copper concentration plant over an initial 10-year mine life. This Project acquisition supports a broader copper strategy for Oman which aims to consolidate Alara’s portfolio of copper projects and potentially other copper assets.
The Company previously reported rock chip samples from Block 8 had returned multi-elemental enrichment of up to 2.68% Copper, 2.4ppm Silver, and 0.1% Zinc indicating potential base metal deposit below. This lead to a RAB drilling campaign. Based on that work some geophysical and geochemical targets were identified and these anomalies will now be revisited.
Previous studies considered transporting ore from Block 7 to a processing plant at Washihi, and/or heap leaching options. Adding Block 8 provides further upside and potential project synergies via a ‘hub and spoke” mining operation developed around shared processing facilities.
Positive developments within Oman’s mining sector, growing demand for copper, and the opportunity to create greater value through project collaboration, show the addition of Block 8 makes good sense for the Company and for copper mining in Oman.
Meanwhile, Alara Resources Limited is an Australian minerals exploration company with a portfolio of projects in Saudi Arabia and Oman. Alara has completed a Definitive Feasibility Study on the Khnaiguiyah Zinc-Copper Project in Saudi Arabia, an Advanced Scoping Study on the Daris and Washihi, Mullaq and Al Ajal exploration licences in Oman and a Feasibility Study for the Al Hadeetha Copper Gold Project, Washihi ore reserve. The Company is transitioning to establish itself as a base and precious metals mine development and production company.