Head of Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO) announced that exploration operations have been started in 300,000 square meters of lands, IRIB reported.
Khodadad Gharibpour said the new exploration operation will be conducted by a consortium of IMIDRO and the country’s major mining companies including Khuzestan Steel Company, Mobarakeh Steel Company, Golgohar Mining and Industrial Company, Chadormalu Mining and Industrial Company, and also Iran Minerals Production and Supply Company.
The official also announced that over 11 trillion rials (about $262 million) of investment has been made in IMIDRO projects through contribution of the private sector.
Gharibpour further stated that his organization supports the research projects required in the industry, saying that paying attention to the scientific subjects and modern technology through cooperation with the universities is seriously followed up by IMIDRO.
Referring to the sanctions, the head of IMIDRO said, “We are combatting the sanctions at the lowest cost and we have witnessed growth in production of all minerals, except for aluminum, during the first four months of the current [Iranian calendar] year (March 21-July 22)”.
Reviving small mines on agenda
Elsewhere in his remarks, Gharibpour said that reviving small mines is a top agenda of IMIDRO’s activities in line with the policies of the “Resistance Economy”.
Saying that these mines should be revived by the private sector, the official said that fortunately there is strong will in the government and private sector to materialize this objective.
Establishment of high-capacity industrial units recently in Iran indicates the need for the supply of more minerals as feedstock for these units.
This reason besides some other ones such as sanctions on the country’s economic sector have encouraged mining sector to revive the small mines which constitute 98 percent of mines in the country.
Previously, due to lack of liquidity and infrastructure, exploration projects were not seen economically viable for these mines, but now they have come under the spotlight.
And in this regard, mining sector has put a plan for reviving and renovating small mines on the agenda of its activity.
For materializing the objective of reviving small mines, different strategies are being suggested by the related officials.
Saying that many of the small mines can be revived through a processing operation, Vajihollah Ja’fari, the managing director of Iran Minerals Production and Supply Company, suggests that the investor provides a guarantee on purchase to investee (operator of mining project), or vice versa, the investee provides a guarantee on sales to the investor.
Special facilities are also offered for reviving the small mines.
Farid Dehqan, the managing director of Mining Investment and Activities Insurance Fund, has said that this fund is due to pay loans with the interest rate of lower than 18 percent to the projects for reviving small mines.
He said reviving and renovating small mines is a national plan in line with the policies of “Resistance Economy”.