The ministry of mine, industry and trade and the Forests, Range and Watershed Management Organization signed an agreement last Tuesday to replace small scale mining with large scale mining, Eghtesadnews reported.
“The main problem faced by miners in Iran is the abundance of small scale mines in the country, which need to be replaced with large mines,” said deputy minister of mine, industry and trade Jafar Sarghini, adding that the change calls for the cooperation of the Forests, Range and Watershed Management Organization.
Small-scale mining will gradually disappear with the emergence of large-scale mining, said the official, arguing that small mines would not be able to compete with the larger ones.
“Reducing the number of mines would significantly ease the ministry’s task to supervise the activity of mines,” he noted.
On the occasion of a conference that brought together the high ranking managers of the two organizations, Sarghini admired the effective communication between the two sides. However, he lamented that the mining industry is being “maltreated,” as the statistics published about the sector do not include several major items.
“The contribution of the mining sector to GDP is said to be no more than 1 percent,” he complained, adding that the statistics are “incorrect”.
When it comes to iron ore for example, he said only the amount of produced Iron ore is reflected in the statistics, noting that the generated value added in the whole steel production process and its downstream processing also need to be taken into account.
Describing mining as a “strategic sector”, he said that in Iran mining has turned into a self-sufficient industry, as the raw material needed by the sector is largely produced and supplied domestically.
The mining industry [annually] produces $30 billion worth of products, he said.
Quoting IMIDRO, Eghtesad News reported that since 2006, about $2.5 billion worth of coal and coke have been imported to the country, which, Sarghini said, could be halved in the course of five years with proper planning.