Second ferrochrome smelter to be built in Sohar

21 May 2012

Omani chrome ore miner Gulf Mining Materials Company to set up 50,000 t/y facility

Gulf Mining Materials Company (GMM) plans to construct a ferrochrome smelter in Freezone Sohar, northern Oman, to process ore mined in the sultanate.

The smelter will have processing capacity of 50,000 tonnes a year (t/y) of ferrochrome and include two furnaces, each with a capacity of 16,500 kilovolt-amperes (kva), according to the state-run Oman News Agency (ONA). GMM is looking into further plans to increase the smelter’s capacity to 110-120,000 t/y by 2015.

GMM will act as the main contractor on the estimated $30m project and outsource a contract for civil works, which is likely to be awarded in July 2012. Construction is expected to take between 12 and 14 months after commencement.

The smelter will use chrome ore from GMM’s as well as material from other mining firms operating in Oman.

Ferrochrome is an alloy of chromite and iron, which is mainly used in the production of stainless steel. GMM is one of the largest producers and exporters of chromite in Oman.

Along with a second smelter being built by Oman’s Al-Tamman Trading and India’s Indsil Group in Sohar, the Oman projects are set to become the first ferrochrome production units in the GCC region.

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