Mining and Quarrying

Kunooz Gypsum

The company is based in Salalah and has been granted mining leases for gypsum, situated near Raweya, for searching, quarrying, excavating, transport and marketing of gypsum. The first mining lease was obtained in 2007 and the ground work commenced in May 2010. Mining operations started from October, 2010 with the first shipment delivered in January 2011. The rights for a second mining lease were acquired through acquisition in 2011 and merged with the company’s existing lease on 1st January 2014. Gypsum ore is extracted by the opencast mining method. The company exports its sized products to customers in India, Africa, Qatar, UAE, Bangladesh and Japan, for the construction, cement, glass and fertilizer sectors. The main competitors for supply of gypsum are from companies in Iran and Thailand, with about six competitors in the Raweya region of Oman.

The construction sector is the main end user of  gypsum, primarily for the production of plaster of paris and plaster boards and the prospects for the sector over the next few years is encouraging with the anticipated high growth in urbanisation and infrastructure development in India, Africa and GCC. The company believes that this will lead to an increase in demand for gypsum, and based on the feedback received from its customers, the company is confident of selling the higher levels of production from its expansion with a 2nd line installed and commissioned on the 27th July 2015.

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Kunooz Gabbro

The company operates, quarries and crushes gabbro in the Al Jifnayn area, Wilayat Seeb. The company was allocated a mining lease for gabbro and the first mining report was prepared in 2010, with actual mining activities commencing in 2012. Development of access roads, laying out required electrical line to the crusher site, installation of an electrical transformer, site preparation for the crushing plant and development of site for mining activities took almost 12 months to complete. After initial trial runs and product testing, commercial operations commenced in May 2013. The material quarried consists of a high quality fresh gabbro, which is crushed, screened and graded on-site. This is supplied to customers in the road and construction industry. Over and above the production of gabbro products the company awaits its water license to produce washed sand. This is used as base material for roads, driveways, site fill, asphalt base, and for plaster and concrete. The company is ideally positioned to sell all its products within the greater Muscat area.

The market for crushed stone, aggregates and gravel has shown a steady growth in demand over the past 6 to 7 years, and continued demand is expected from four main areas through continued government investments:

  • Infrastructure:
  • Housing:
  • Roads; and
  • Tourism projects

In addition, the Oman railway network that is currently under construction is expected to generate a substantial demand for gabbro in the foreseeable future.

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Majan Mining

The company is engaged in the business of mining, crushing and exporting limestone in the Uyan Mountain Range, west of Teetam, Salalah in Dhofar Region.  Commercial operations commenced in January 2009. The company produces crushed limestone in size range of 02-120 mm, and crushed ore below 2 mm is currently stockpiled (markets for this product are currently being evaluated and developed).

The products are exported to end users such as the Tata Group, Jindal Steel and Ultratech Cements in India as well as to companies in Qatar. The customers are mainly in the steel and cement sectors. The company supplies to its customers on a regular basis. Apart from the above, the company has a long term supply arrangement with Carmeuse Majan LLC (described in following section), for long term supply of limestone. This is expected to account for a minor share of the annual production.

Kunooz Marble

The company was established in March 2005 and the project study, preparations and project implementation were completed over a period of two and half years. Marble is quarried in the Ibri area which commenced in December 2007. The factory for cutting and polishing of the marble is located in Rusayl which started operations in December 2009. Traditional chain and wire saws and quarrying is used in the  commercial extraction of the marble blocks. The blocks are of maximum size of 2.8×1.8×1.8 meters and these are transported to the company’s cutting and processing plant located at Rusayl. At the quarry, the company has 8 wire saws, 4 horizontal drilling machines, 5 chain saw machine, 3 wheel loaders, 2 excavators, 3 prime movers apart from vehicles and power generators. The company’s world class factory at Rusayl industrial estate is constructed on land leased from the PEIE with a lease period of 25 years. It has specialized equipment and machineries, imported from Italy, to cut the blocks in slabs or strips, which are then polished and cut as per the market demand. These include block cutters, splitter, tile line with multi cross cutting machine, milling machine, gang saws, fully automatic slab lines with ovens, bridge cutting machine and edge chamfering machine.

The company mainly produces marble slabs and various types of cut to size marble which find applications in flooring, cladding, kitchen tops, counters, steps and risers, skirting and art work related to the marbles. The products are sold locally and internationally.

For the year ended 31st December 2014, approximately 93% percent of the company’s receivables were attributable to sales transactions with a single customer from Saudi Arabia.

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