EghtesadOnline: Iran Minerals Production and Supply Company, a subsidiary of state-owned Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization, said it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Iran Mine House and a private company to develop six small-scale gold and copper mines.
With this deal, the government of President Hassan Rouhani is launching a program for the revitalization, activation and development of artisanal mines.
The operations are located in almost every corner of the country, from the eastern South Khorasan Province to the central Isfahan Province, the northwestern West Azarbaijan province and the northern East Azarbaijan Province, Mining.com reported citing a report by the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting.
Besides increasing mineral production and bringing some illegal mines to legality, authorities say the plan is also aimed at increasing employment, creating added value for local communities and building a more resilient economy, Financial Tribune reported.
According to the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Iran hosts about 7% of the world’s mineral resource, including 10% of proven oil and 16% of natural gas resources. When it comes to gold, the country's total reserves are estimated to be 320 tons.
The country also has massive zinc, copper and iron deposits.
According to Kitco News citing data released by World Gold Council, the country’s demand for bars and coins jumped 200% on an annual basis, reaching 15.2 tons—the highest level in more than four years.
“Coin demand was healthy as the Iranian central bank increased the amount of gold coins released to the market. Gold coins have performed well in recent quarters as, unlike gold jewelry, they do not attract 9% VAT,” WGC said.