Iranian officials say the mining industry is set for the inflow of foreign investment and steps have been taken toward attracting capital from abroad.
“The mining industry is among investment priorities of the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Trade, accounting for almost 30 percent of such priorities. Expansion of facilities whose production stands at 85 percent of their nominal capacity along with other fields is on the list of investment priorities. In addition to measures to prop up the private sector and adoption of resistance economy-based strategies, investors, especially foreign ones, have been invited to put their money in the mining industry,” CEO of the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO) Mehdi Karbasian told the Gostaresh San’at, Madan, va Tejarat (Industry, Mine, and Trade Development) Magazine on August 31. The following is a translation of his comments:
In the category of metal and metal products, among other things the investment priorities are assigned to titanium concentrate (only in regions where the supply of raw material is possible), gold concentrate and bullion, high and medium carbon ferromanganese, alumina powder, silicon metal, polysilicon, rhenium, copper wire, aluminum foil, potash and magnesium production from brine, and the construction of loadingpiers.
As for non-metallic mineral, among other things, the processing of precious, semi-precious and decorative stones, renovation and transformation of brick industries, processing and production of mineral raw materials for tile and ceramic industries, granite and marble processing facilities are on the list of investment priorities.
In areas which fall within our jurisdiction, we directly lend support to industries. As for others, we propose other organizations to back them. To decrease the ministry’s operating costs, in addition to measures to prop up the private sector and adoption of resistance economy-based strategies, investors, especially foreign ones, have been invited to put their money in the mining industry.
In terms of construction,operations and development in the fields mentioned above, we count on foreign capital, and we expect those who can offer support vital to investment to do their best. […]
For the time being, IMIDRO is working on 29 projects. Last year [when the new government took office] the majority of mining projects were either half-finished or stalled altogether. They fell as long as four to 12 years behind schedule. The projects on the IMIDRO agenda mainly deal with the production of steel, gold, aluminum, coal and coke, lead,zinc, iron and ore, as well as power plants andinfrastructure development.
We have taken the initial steps toward attracting foreign capital and the presence of foreign investors can already be felt in most mining projects. For instance, we have talked to foreign investors about the implementation of some large-scale steel projects including a 4 million ton steel project which covers extraction, concentration, pelletizing and production of steel. The offer has been welcomed warmly by foreign investors.
Elsewhere, in Persian Gulf Special Economic Zone (PGSEZ),some projects are being run by Hormozgan Steel Company (HOSCO) and Kish South Kaveh Steel Company (SKS). In coordination with the Center for Free and Special Economic Zones, an expanse of land as big as 2,500 hectares is going to be added to the zone in order to help infrastructure develop and encourage the inflow of capital.