Located in the Sultanate of Oman, Al Hadeetha is a high-grade copper-gold project.
Al Hadeetha Resources (AHR) joint venture (JV) between Alara Resources subsidiary Alara Oman Operations, Al Hadeetha Investments and Al Tasnim Infrastructure Services is developing the project.
AHR became the first JV to secure a copper mining licence in Oman since 2004.
Bankable feasibility study of the Al Hadeetha copper project was completed in March 2016. A mining license for the project was granted in May 2018. The project is expected to produce first copper by the end of 2019.
It is expected to be developed with an investment of $70m and will create 200 jobs during construction and 175 permanent jobs, once fully operational.
Al Hadeetha copper-gold project location, geology and mineralisation
Discovered in 2013, the Al Hadeetha copper-gold project occupies a total area of approximately 80km². The project includes three exploration licences -Washihi-Mazzaza, Mullaq and Al Ajal and one Washihi-Mazzaza mining license.
The project is located approximately 160km away from Muscat, on Nizwa-Sinaw Highway, and approximately 355km from Sohar Port.
The area is hosted by Samail Ophiolite, along with Hawasina nappes, which appear at the front of the Samail Nappe in Jabal al Hammah.
The area surrounding the prospect is structurally complex, with majority portion filled with wadi gravels, and comprises outcrops of different geological units.
Most of the copper mineralisation at Washihi is identical to the volcanic-hosted massive sulphide style with majority of copper occurring as stock work of sulphide mineral veins.
Al Hadeetha copper-gold project reserves
The Washihi-Mazzaza license of Al Hadeetha project is estimated to contain maiden ore reserve of 9.7 million tonnes of ore, grading at 0.88% copper (Cu) and 0.2g/t gold (Au).
Indicated and inferred mineral resources at the project are 12.4Mt and 3.7Mt, at a grade of 0.89% Cu and 0.79% Cu, respectively, according to the updated JORC-compliant estimate.
Mining and processing
AHR suggested employing conventional open pit mining methods, involving drill and blast, followed by load and haul at Al Hadeetha. The production schedule proposed extraction of 8 million tonnes annually at an average waste-to-ore strip ratio of 5.2:1.
Al Hadeetha is expected to produce 10.1 million tonnes through its mine life, with 915,000t in the first year, 1 million tonnes from the second year to 10th year and 196,000t during the 11th year.
The ore will be processed at the 1Mtpa processing plant and fed to the run-of-mine (ROM) bin directly by truck. It will be withdrawn by vibrating grizzly feeder and transferred to a single toggle jaw crusher.
The crushed material will be ground in two mills, operating in closed circuit with a discharge double-deck screen, a cone crusher as SABC combination (semi-autogenous grinding (SAG), ball mill and a cone crusher) and hydro cyclones. The subsequent cyclones overflow will gravitate to the flotation circuit.
The flotation circuit includes roughing / scavenging circuit and cleaning cells to recover the copper efficiently. The rougher and scavenger concentrates will be directed to the regrind mill discharge sump, from which the slurry will be pumped to the regrind cyclones for classification.
Cyclone overflow will feed the cleaner circuit, while the underflow (coarse stream) will return to the regrind mill.
Cleaner concentrate will be pumped to a thickener prior to filtration. The final concentrate will be transported to the smelter for further refining.
In March 2017, Statdrome entered an offtake agreement with Alara Oman Operations for purchasing the copper concentrate produced at Al Hadeetha.
Statdrome transferred $6m as a pre-payment that was proposed to cover the project construction costs and fund the mine start-up company.
Power will be sourced from the Khadra Bin Daffa grid, located approximately 5km from the project site.
The water for the process plant will be collected from the Nizwa sewage treatment plant through a 70km buried pipeline. Potable water is proposed to be sourced from nearby bores.
Diesel fuel is delivered to the site in bulk via fuel tankers and stored in the 50,000l bulk storage tank.
Workers will be accommodated at the proposed on-site village.
McNally Bharat Engineering (MBE) was awarded a contract to conduct engineering works at the Al Hadeetha copper project. The contract covers the project engineering, geotechnical drilling, detailed designs for plant and other site infrastructure.
Haya Water provided wastewater and land for the sewage treatment plant construction under a public-private partnership (PPP).
Progesys was hired as the project management consultant.