Rumours of the existence of substantial reserves of chrome ore sent Abdullah Ahmad Sulaiman Al Hady
scurrying over Oman’s mountains for a mine of his own. It took him two years to find it and led to the establishment of Gulf Mining Materials
) in 2005.
Today, in addition to mining large quantities of chrome ore, GMM is the only company in Oman making chrome concentrate using low-grade chrome ore which otherwise is not usable. GMM has interests in marble mining and processing (having a modern marble processing plant with the latest technology), limestone, iron ore, laterite, manganese, gypsum, shipping, minerals trading and hospitality. The company’s operations span Oman, UAE, Egypt, Turkey, Albania, South Africa, China, India, Thailand and Singapore.
“As an expert chrome ore mining company, there are a lot of opportunities available to us for operating mines in other countries. This is particularly true in Albania, South Africa, Egypt and Kazakhstan, though we are also considering expansion in new markets like Russia and Vietnam,” explains GMM Chairman Al Hady.
“As far as competition goes, we are market leaders at home now, and set the price for Oman chrome ore. The major competition in chrome comes from South Africa and Turkey, but through our consistent efforts to establish the GMM name and our cost efficiencies, we have been able to establish our products successfully in China and India, which has resulted in continuous demand despite the recession and competition.”
“With our intense marketing and mining efforts, today we are the third largest exporter of chrome ore to China.”
Abdullah Ahmad Sulaiman Al Hady, Chairman of GMM
Indeed, GMM has been instrumental in placing Oman on the global map of chrome ore mining and exporting countries – an achievement that Al Hady counts as his greatest success. “Until 2006, Oman was nowhere on that list of suppliers of chrome ore. With our intense marketing and mining efforts, today it is the third largest exporter of chrome ore to China,” he said.
Named Ernst & Young’s Middle East Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year last year, Al Hady now has a new goal – to position his company as leader of the entire mineral industry in Oman, adding new minerals, like iron ore, zinc and gypsum to its specialties.
“This will stem from GMM’s foray into more minerals apart from chrome ore. We are steadily moving in that direction and will also contribute substantially to the realisation of His Majesty’s goal of reducing Oman’s reliance on oil,” he said.
Other medium-term goals, according to Kanwal Gambhir, CEO of GMM, are to establish a ferrochrome plant (for which construction begins this year), to hire an additional 600 people in the next five years, and to boost its mineral business in Albania and South Africa and its aluminium alloy business in the UAE.