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December 2016, No. 81


IMIDRO Exclusive

Mineral Exploration
Top Priority of Mining Sector


It is necessary that mineral materials should be processed and turned into products and if required foreign partners be used in order to create jobs inside the country.


What is important in the mining sector is exploration, which has not received due attention, said Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh, adding that only 7 to 8 percent of the country has been explored and exploited in terms of mining.

Stressing that mineral exploration should be followed up seriously, he said 47 billion tons of minerals exist in the country, 60 percent of which include construction materials such as limestone, sand and plaster. Metal and non-metal minerals and products comprise the rest.

Stating that 68 types of minerals have been identified in the country, Nematzadeh said, “We should be able to exploit this God-given gift and simultaneously by using new technologies develop it thoughtfully and wisely and manage to create value added and ultimately valuable products and export the surplus.

He said thanks to the planning made by the office of deputy minister for Mines and Mineral Industries over 400,000 km and 90 mineral zones have been released and transferred to the private sector in the past two years.

Of course, he said, priority in transferring was given to the companies and miners which enjoyed the necessary expertise and capabilities or were ready for merger, in case of being small in dimensions.

The minister added that major mineral exploitations will be carried out by Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development & Renovation Organization (IMIDRO) especially at border areas in case the private sector does not welcome this issue.

Announcing that exploitation activities have started jointly with Iran Atomic Energy Organization in the recent months on 100,000 sq km of area, he said, “In this way besides exploiting radioactive minerals, we can attain other needed domestic and foreign strategic elements with the assistance of universities and within the course of research activities.”

Nematzadeh said after the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), on average 5 to 6 ministers and foreign delegations arrive in Iran every week. This provides a good opportunity for Iranian engineering and exploitation companies to negotiate with them and form joint consortiums to follow up mines engineering affairs.

Like the industry sector, most of Iranian mines and mineral industries are in need of renovation and rehabilitation, he said, adding that maintenance and repair of heavy duty machinery would be made possible by using foreign facilities. In this way, about 40 percent of the price of mineral machinery would be reused.

He said it was true that the completion of the production cycle would go back to the industry sector, however, in the mining sector the sale of any kind of crude minerals should be prevented.

It is necessary that mineral materials should be processed and turned into products and if required foreign partners be used in order to create jobs inside the country.

Stressing that creative and innovative youth comprise the main assets of the country, he said, “We follow a win-win policy in dealing with foreign partners and intend to launch joint (50-50) production. We also intend to export our surplus products to the target countries.”

 

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  December 2016
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