Reviving small mines on agenda

TEHRAN, Jul. 29 (MNA) –Establishment of high-capacity industrial units recently in Iran indicates the need for the supply of more minerals as feedstock for these units.

This reason besides some other ones such as sanctions on the country’s economic sector have encouraged mining sector to revive the small mines which constitute 98 percent of mines in the country.

Previously, due to lack of liquidity and infrastructure, exploration projects were not seen economically viable for these mines, but now they have come under the spotlight.

And in this regard, mining sector has put a plan for reviving and renovating small mines on the agenda of its activity.

Khodadad Gharibpour, the head of Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO), has mentioned this plan as one of the most significant plans of “Resistance Economy”, saying that IMIDRO is strongly determined to carry out it.

The official said reviving small mines stands among the top priorities of IMIDRO in the current Iranian calendar year (ends on March 20, 2019).

For materializing the objective of reviving small mines, different strategies are being suggested by the related officials.

Saying that many of the small mines can be revived through a processing operation, Vajihollah Ja’fari, the managing director of Iran Minerals Production and Supply Company, suggests that the investor provides a guarantee on purchase to investee (operator of mining project), or vice versa, the investee provides a guarantee on sales to the investor.

Special facilities are also offered for reviving the small mines.

Farid Dehqan, the managing director of Mining Investment and Activities Insurance Fund, has said that this fund is due to pay loans with the interest rate of lower than 18 percent to the projects for reviving small mines.

He said reviving and renovating small mines is a national plan in line with the policies of “Resistance Economy”.

While the government is seriously following up the plan for reviving small mines, private sector’s contribution is also highly needed in this field.

In a meeting held on July 2, IMIDRO head called for the highest presence of private sector in the plan for reviving and renovating small mines.

During the meeting, which was on investigating and reviewing the mentioned plan, Gharibpour said, “The highest presence of mining associations and unions in this plan will promote the status of small mines in production, trade and employment.”

Private sector’s presence in this plan will be resulted in making joint decisions and also performing those decisions more rapidly, the official noted.

Specific machinery, technology required

Although, reviving small mines is a plan which seems being followed up seriously and some facilities and supports are being offered for it, it should not be ignored that reviving those mines requires specific machinery and technology.

And as the owners of the mines do no afford buying those expensive machinery, different methods and approaches should be adopted in a way that exploiting the small mines will be economically viable.

Tackling the above-mentioned limitation, IMIDRO, as the only state-run body in this field, has already come to act. The organization has provided technical know-how for manufacturing of some required equipment and has already unveiled three samples for lead, zinc, manganese and bauxite mines, and through a tender it plans to select an investor and a commercial-industrial company as its partners for the mass production of mobile units for processing minerals to be used in small mines.

This project will be supported by Mining Investment and Activities Insurance Fund.

Supporting such projects is economically viable, because small mines account for 85 percent of employment in Iran’s mining sector, and half of the country’s minerals output; so reviving them will definitely bring fruitful results for domestic industry and it is why the Ministry of Industry, Mining and Trade and its major mining subsidiary, IMIDRO, are strongly determined and seriously following up implementation of the defined plan for reviving these mines.

MNA/TT

News Code 148198

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