Iran’s Mines Can Generate More Cash Than Crude: Deputy Minister
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s Deputy Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade Mojtaba Khosrowtaj said the country can generate more revenues from its mineral resources than crude oil sales.
Iran has the potential to earn more revenues from mining than it does from crude if the government puts more focus on developing the metals sector, Khosrowtaj said on Sunday.
Metals such as copper and lead and higher-priced rare earth elements could be worth “much more” than the nation’s oil industry revenue of about $30 billion, assuming crude at $40 a barrel and exports of 2 million barrels a day, he added.
The mining sector is still using equipment developed 15 or 20 years ago because of lack of funds due to sanctions, Khosrowtaj further said.
“We could use new technologies,” Bloomberg quoted him as saying.
Domestic and overseas companies need to be encouraged to develop the mining sector, Khosrowtaj said. “The Iran of the future is one where mining can gradually start replacing oil. We have asked potential investors to pay attention to the mining sector.”
Some 37 billion metric tons of minerals valued at $700 billion were discovered in Iran from exploration work at 50 meters (164 feet) underground, he said, adding reserves may be greater if exploration work is done deeper in the ground and on a larger scale.
The Iranian deputy minister of industry, mine and trade also said that with lifting of anti-Tehran sanctions, there will be new opportunities that will accelerate the country’s economic growth.
Tehran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) on July 14 reached a conclusion over the text of a comprehensive 159-page deal on Iran’s nuclear energy program.
The comprehensive nuclear deal between Iran and the six powers would terminate all nuclear-related sanctions imposed on Iran after coming into force.
Experts believe that Iran’s economic growth would rise remarkably after the final nuclear deal takes effect.