People, Environment

Asiatic Cheetah’s Habitat Threatened by Mining

Asiatic Cheetah’s Habitat Threatened by Mining
Asiatic Cheetah’s Habitat Threatened by Mining

Chadormalu Mining and Industrial Company finally obtained a permit on mining in D19 District in Yazd Province, a potential habitat of the rare Asiatic cheetah.

The recently discovered iron-rich area holds over 300 million tons of iron ore and could replenish the iron resources of the industrial company, though environmentalists are concerned over its impact on the vanishing Asiatic cheetah that might lose their habitats, ISNA reported. The last wild Asiatic cheetahs in Iran are now thought to number between 70-110, all of them inhabiting the remote and arid central plateau.

However, the D19 District, which is home to the rare animal, has recently become one of the most controversial among the other 24 specified mining areas in Yazd.

Reportedly, the mining company is the main iron ore concentrate producer in the Middle East with an annual output of 7 million tons of direct-reduced iron and up to 1 million tons of crushed iron ore for blast furnaces and export.

However, the prevailing iron resources will only suffice for the next 10 years and that is why the company is expediting mining activities in the D19 area.

A couple of weeks ago, Mohammad Reza Bahraman, the head of Iran Mine House, said environmental authorities in negotiations with the Chadormalu company and IMH have agreed to issue a permit for preliminary exploration and limited production.

The news led to the reaction of environmental officials. Reza Eqtedar, a deputy at DOE’s Office of Habitats, denied issuing a mining certificate.

“The permit has been solely issued for geophysical studies and any kind of excavation is prohibited in the area,” he said.

The arguments add weight to the dilemma of sacrificing the habitat of the rare Asiatic cheetah or letting the largest iron ore company continue its operations in the region.





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