TEHRAN (Iran News) – The Iranian mining sector has seen a significant surge in investment for new projects, a sign the country is intent on taking benefit of its massive mineral reserves despite US sanctions that have targeted its sale of lucrative metals.
A spokesman for Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO) said that investment in new mining projects, including opening mines or launching processing industries, had reached $3.2 billion over the past Iranian year ending March 19, reported Press TV.
Mohammad Sepehr said that the figure showed an increase of nearly 60 percent compared to the previous Iranian year when investment in the sector topped $2 billion.
Sepehr said that a boom in investment had taken place despite the sanctions imposed by the US as well as a new coronavirus pandemic that hit Iran in late February.
He said another $2.2 billion worth of mining projects would be launched in the current calendar year, ending March 2021.
IMIDRO says mine discovery in Iran grew by 210 percent over the past Iranian year, to reach 310,000 square kilometers. It says expanding the sector led to the creation of 4,790 new jobs, an increase of 30 percent compared to the previous year.
The growth in Iran’s mining and metals activity comes despite a series of US bans that have specifically targeted the country’s trade of metals.
The bans, enacted in May 2019, came after the US authorities failed in their bid to cut Iran’s sale of oil to zero.
The sanctions are part of an attempt by Washington to force a change in Iran’s nuclear activity as well as its foreign policy.
Iranian authorities insist that the US sanctions have caused a diversification of the economy while they have led to new sources of earning hard currency for the country.
- source : Iran Daily, Irannews