Economy, Business And Markets

25 Abandoned Mines to Be Reactivated

25 Abandoned Mines to Be Reactivated25 Abandoned Mines to Be Reactivated

The Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade has approved a plan aimed at reactivating the abandoned mines across the country, the official in charge of the plan announced.

“There are many mines in the country that have been abandoned in the past few years in the absence of required infrastructure,” Mohammad Reza Abedini was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.

Last Iranian year (ended March 20, 2015), out of 300 mines identified as abandoned, 40 were shortlisted by the exploration committee of the Iran Mineral Production and Supply Company and 25 mines were selected as top priorities, Abedini said.

“Excavation permits will be issued once the ministry’s offices in the concerned provinces grant the required permission and the targeted mines are explored, equipped and their reserves estimated.”

On the reactivation progress of the 25 prioritized mines, he said: “So far, the review of 11 mines has started, including Chah Kharbozeh zinc and silver mine and Sermeh lead and zinc mine in Isfahan and Azabkouh lead and zinc mine in South Khorasan Province.

“Administrative preparations are also underway to start work on other mines in Semnan, Isfahan and Yazd provinces.”

The official predicted that Chah Kharbozeh will enter exploitation phase by the end of the current year (March 19, 2016).

There are an estimated 2,500 abandoned mines in Iran. Underinvestment, lack of modern technology, environmental degradation as a result of improper mining operations and low reserves are the main contributing factors.

In developed countries, the term “abandoned” is applied only to mines that have run out of reserves.

The government has always maintained the importance of investment in mines, however, many officials believe that the government can no longer afford to invest in mining activities and that the private sector should step in for help.