West Azarbaijan Rich in Precious Stones

West Azarbaijan Rich in Precious Stones

West Azarbaijan ranks first among the country’s provinces in terms of diversity in mineral resources, says Jafar Sadegh Eskandari, head of the provincial Industries and Mines Organization.
Currently, there are more than 474 mines in the province, containing over 31 different kinds of precious metals such as titan, gold, barite, feldspar, mica, silver and decorative stones like granite, marble, travertine, dolomite, and basalt.
At present, 206 mines are active in decorative stones production contributing to 600,000 tons of stones annually. Eskandari estimated that the value of the stones to be equivalent to $17 million.
The provincial mines have created jobs for more than 7000 people and annually more than 40% of decorative stones are exported to different countries, he said.
Also, 6 million tons of different kinds of mineral stones are being extracted from the mines annually, and the figure will be increased to more than 9 million tons by the end of current year (March 20, 2015), he said, quoted by Mehr News Agency.

Eskandari also announced inviting investors to establish two stone masonry high-technology units.
To boost employment in the province, harvesting and extraction of the minerals is a necessity, he added.
At present, the provincial mines’ reserve is estimated to be 1.25 trillion tons of mineral stones and metals. This capacity can be utilized to increase the economic growth rate of the province, he added.

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