Economy, Business And Markets

Chaharmahal & Bakhtiari Mining Sector Prospering

Chaharmahal & Bakhtiari Mining Sector ProsperingChaharmahal & Bakhtiari Mining Sector Prospering

Despite vast mineral resources of high quality, the mines in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province in southwestern Iran remain largely unexplored, Iran newspaper reported.

Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province is home to about 3.6% of Iran’s total mines; while constituting only one percent of the country’s entire area. The province currently has 184 operational mines extracting metal, nonmetal, and fire clay reserves.

About 5.5 million tons of minerals are extracted from the province every year, accounting for 6.1% of the country’s total mineral extractions. This is while the total production capacity of the discovered mines in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari adds up to 980 million metric tons per year.

The major minerals extracted from the province include decorative stones and mulch, lime,  shale, celestine, base metals, fire clay, silica, dolomite, copper, and sodium-bearing feldspar.

About 620 billion rials ($18.3 million at market exchange rate) has so far been invested in the province’s mining sector, which employs about 1,500 miners; according to head of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari’s Industries, Mines and Trade Organization (IMTO), Naim Emami.

“The province’s mining sector has seen a 10% growth over the past one year, as eight new mining operation licenses were issued and 17 mines went into operation during the period,” he said.

In another development in the mining sector, the official said mineral exploration projects using satellite imagery have been launched in the northern parts of the province, in cooperation with the Iranian Mines & Mining Industries Development & Renovation (IMIDRO) and the Geological Survey of Iran (GSI). “Low-altitude aerial surveys covering 3,400 square kilometers of the province have been carried out to identify potential mineral capacities.

Another project is aimed at surveying two regions of 570 and 280 square kilometers each to explore for ore deposits,” he added.

“The mining exploration operations carried out in the province in the current Iranian year (ending March 20) is equivalent to the total exploration activities executed in the area over the past 35 years,” said Emami.

Pointing that three new mining complexes went into operation in the province during the current Iranian year, the official said: “The mining complex in Junqan city in Farsan County is comprised of 10 mines and creates 150 job opportunities, while the complex in Boldaji in Borujen County is comprised of 8 mines and generates 100 job opportunities and another complex in Hamzehali rural district in Borujen County has 10 mines, providing jobs for 150 people.”

Emami called on local officials to help establish mining facilities in the province’s rural and urban areas, noting that it would lead to sustainable development and prosperity in the region.

According to head of mining department at Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari IMTO, Behzad Ebrahimi, 113 index minerals including decorative stones and mulch, base metals, fire clay, dolomite, and copper have been identified in the province, with an estimated capacity of 900 million tons.