Set up in 2011, Arabia Global Resources LLC (AGR) started its laterite ore mining operations in May 2013. The quarry is located 40km outside the town of Ibra, 201km from Muscat. Laterite is mostly sold from the quarry to Emirati and Omani cement companies.
Local Omani entrepreneurs Shaikh Faisal Al-Junaiby and Mr Ali Al Saadi brought to the table strong management experience and relevant experience in the trade and mining industries. Both have been with the company since inception and have employed an experienced Executive Director, Mr Pambos Simonos, in line with succession planning requirements.
Building on Startup Success
In the second half of 2013, the company managed to secure a contract with a well-established Emirati manufacturer in line with its growth objectives, and approached Nomou for finance of US$ 495,430, as well as the business support required to meet the increase in capacity.
Given their satisfaction with Nomou funding and support, it was no surprise that the entrepreneurs again approached Nomou in December 2015 for additional investment of US$ 267,800 to purchase new equipment to meet increased demand.
“We provided project completion support at both start-up and expansion phase to the company. Additionally, we assisted with putting financial management techniques in place to ensure that the entrepreneurs, together with the internal accountant, could best manage the implementation and regular operation of financial monitoring systems,” said Mohammed Al Maskari, Senior Investment Manager, GroFin Oman.
Social and Economic Impact
To begin with, the company employed 28 employees in anticipation of new projects commencing in 2014. All the jobs created for the expansion have been sustained, based on Nomou funding and support. Three additional jobs will be created based on the second investment, improving the total to 31 sustained jobs. Diesel and equipment is also sourced through the local community, thus generating more income for indigenous suppliers.
Besides, the business also benefits the local community by paying a 1.20 OMR royalty per MT of laterite sold. As much as 60% of the royalty fee is paid to the Ibra municipality which in turn uses the funds to benefit the local community. The average monthly benefit to the local community ranges from US$ 83,200 to US$ 169,000.