EghtesadOnline: A memorandum of understanding was signed on Sunday in Tehran by Geological Survey and Mineral Explorations of Iran (GSI), Research Institute for Earth Sciences and Semnan University to promote joint scientific, educational and research cooperation in geological sciences and mineral exploration.
The main aims of the MoU revolve around proper utilization of research and scientific capabilities and capacities to expand research pertaining to geological sciences and mineral exploration on the national, regional and international scale; expanding scientific, research and educational relations as well as sharing information, IRNA reported.
According to Deputy Industries Minister Khodadad Gharibpour, Iran has the largest area under mineral exploration in the Middle East.
He noted that the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation, the biggest state-owned holding in the country’s mining sector, plans to cover 300,000 square kilometers for mineral exploration by the end of the current fiscal year (March 19, 2020), according to Financial Tribune.
IMIDRO carried out exploration over 270,000 square kilometers during President Hassan Rouhani's first term in office (August 2013-17).
Gharibpour, who is also the chairman of IMIDRO, told IRNA 65% of Iran’s total explorable mineral areas (1 million kilometers) belong to the organization.
According to Deputy Industries Minister Jafar Sarqeini, Iran aims to produce 550 million tons of minerals in the current fiscal year (March 2019-20).
Iran is home to 68 types of minerals with more than 37 billion tons of proven reserves and 57 billion tons of potential reserves.
According to the United States Geological Survey, Iran holds the world's largest zinc, ninth largest copper, 10th largest iron ore, fifth largest gypsum and barite, and 10th largest uranium reserves.
Iran possesses more than 7% of global mineral reserves.
According to the Persian economic daily Donya-e-Eqtesad, Iran is home to nearly 10,000 mines, only 6,000 of which are active. The country’s mineral reserves stand at 60 billion tons, close to 40 billion tons of which are proven.