Business And Markets

Spain Seeks Investment in Iran Mines

Spain Seeks Investment in Iran Mines
Spain Seeks Investment in Iran Mines

Foreign investors from Asia and Europe have been traveling to Iran in the past few weeks to explore new business opportunities here. Now, a group of Spanish companies say they are interested in investing in mineral exploration projects across Iran. 

The Spanish Confederation of Employers' Organizations (CEOE) announced that Spain's mining companies are willing to start joint ventures in Iran, following recent reports of economic growth and falling inflation.

On Sunday, President Hassan Rouhani said the country has managed to exit recession following official reports of economic growth in the first quarter of the current Iranian year (March 21-June 22). 

"Production has gained momentum…. time is ripe to attract more foreign investors now that we have regained the world's trust," Rouhani said in a speech in Mashhad.   

In a meeting with top officials from Iran's Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO), the CEOE's international relations director, Jose Garcia Morales said: "We can offer Iranians the technologies they might need in mining projects."

Spanish companies plan to take part in the IMIS - Iran Mine and Mining Industries Summit - due to be held in Tehran this fall.  

Meanwhile, IMIDRO managing director, Mehdi Karbasi welcomed any domestic or foreign investment in the mining sector, including exploration, extraction, and processing. 

"With sanctions eased as a result of constructive nuclear negotiations, foreigners would see a very good opportunity for economic cooperation with Iranian companies," he said.

Karbasi added that Spanish companies can invest either independently or jointly, from 1% to 100%, in Iran's mining projects. 

"We have a wide range of development plans at IMIDRO, including plant to produce 55 million tons of steel, 1.5 million tons of aluminum, 200 million tons of minerals, 800,000 tons of copper, as well as a mining exploration project covering an area of 250,000 square meters. We believe these plans are great investment opportunities." 

Iran holds at least 43 billion tons of proven mineral reserves, with some 5,422 active mines, deputy of Geological Survey and Mineral Exploration of Iran Behrouz Borna told Eghtesad News.

"There are over 2,000 inactive mines across the country, which could turn productive if investors are encouraged to step in," Borna added. 

Iran holds 3% of the world's proven mineral reserves, with its annual mineral extraction reaching 372 million tons. 

As one of the top-ranking countries in mineral reserves and production, Iran has, through the years, created 23,000 different mineral industries.

Iran is located on the Alpine-Himalayan orogenic belt which extends along the southern margin of Eurasia, stretching from Java to Sumatra through the Himalayas, the Mediterranean, and out into the Atlantic. The belt holds 15% of the world's mineral reserves and 12.5% of the belt is located inside Iran. 

The country is also one of the most important mineral producers in the world, and has been ranked among 15 major mineral-rich countries. It holds some 68 types of minerals, and more than 57 billion tons of potential reserves. With roughly 1% of the world's population, the country holds more than 7% of the world's total mineral reserves.

The most important reserves in Iran include coal, sand and gravel, chemical minerals, and metallic minerals such as zinc (world's largest), copper (world's ninth largest reserves in 2011), iron (world's 12th largest in 2013 according to the US Geological Survey), uranium (world's tenth largest) and lead (world's eleventh largest).