Iran is one of the top ten countries in the world in terms of mineral diversity – it has 68 different kinds of minerals. It is also among the world’s top ten countries as far as the volume of deposits is concerned.
The country extracted 390 million and 420 million tons of minerals in 2012 and 2013 respectively. Its mineral extraction is projected to rise to 570 million tons in 2015, the final year of the Fifth National Development Plan.
The Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO) has recently reported that it has been implementing a plan to explore mineral resources in an expanse of land 200,000 square kilometers in area in Sangan, Khorasan Razavi Province.
This is what Amir Khorami Shad, an IMIDRO vice president, said on January 11. The following is the translation of what else he told the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA):
The three-year exploration plan which got underway in December 2013 has absorbed more than $400 million in finances. Some 100,000 kilometers of land was explored in the first year.
The plan is in line with the agreements the Ministry of Industries, Mines and Trade has inked with IMIDRO and the Geological Survey of Iran.
IMIDRO has additional plans – worth $9 billion in investment – for development of the mining sector in areas such as iron ore, coal, steel, copper, aluminum, gold and magnesium.
IMIDRO gives priority to the Iranians, at home and abroad, when it comes to investment absorption. Foreign investors come next if they seek to put their money into Iran’s mines and industries.
Iran has enacted laws on foreign investment [the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Act (FIPPA)] and the Organization of Investment and Economic and Technical Assistance of Iran has been required to secure the inflow of foreign capital.
IMIDRO has invested some $17 billion in different sectors, something which has generated around 70,000 job opportunities.
Iran sits on almost 60 billion tons of mineral deposits – valued at around $750 billion in foreign exchange. Less than 15 percent of the country has been explored.
Iran enjoys a special status in the world thanks to its position in the Middle East, its proximity to 15 countries home to over 500 million people, its easy access to high seas, and rich energy and mineral reserves.