Economy, Business And Markets

Mining Overshadowed by Oil, Gas

Mining Overshadowed by Oil, GasMining Overshadowed by Oil, Gas

Industrial and economic advantages of Iran’s mining sector are being eclipsed by the powerful energy (oil and natural gas) sector, a member of Iran Mine House said in an interview with Radio Eghtesad on Wednesday.

The mining sector can produce and export 65 types of different minerals and can create even more value added than the oil sector, said Ja’far Sadeqipanah. He urged the government to trust the private sector by assigning them a stronger role in the mining sector and “see the good results in just a few years.”

The Iran Mine House member also pointed out that exploration development was the most basic necessity for the mining sector, in which the private sector should be engaged. “We already have the three sides of a triangle, namely the mining reserves, educated workforce, and abundant energy resources,” stressed Sadeqipanah, adding that the only element required to make the best use of such combination is scrupulous planning.

The budgets governments allocated during the decades were too tight and the private sector lacks the power to perform such costly and complicated operations. As much as $84 billion were spent across the world during the past decade on mining explorations, while the figure in Iran hardly reaches $25 million, according to Bahram Shakouri, member of the board at Iran Mine House.  

Iran has more than 57 billion metric tons of proven reserves and the extractions currently carried in Iran are based on exploration operations performed in the depths of between 50 and 300 meters. This is while the depths of 700 to 1000 meters should be surveyed and explored.

An important factor experts identify for the missing aerial geophysical surveys and deep explorations is the presence of abundant resources of fossil fuels in the country. Over the decades, governments in Iran have relied on oil as the main source of revenue and such reliance has always distracted decision-makers from sustainable sources of national income, including mines.