EghtesadOnline: An agreement has been signed between the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade, Bank of Industry and Mine, and Mining Investment Insurance Corporation (MICO), based on which loans worth 6 trillion rials ($20 million) will be extended to help revive inactive mines across Iran.
The loans will be allocated using the ministry's resources, according to a press release published on BIM's website.
BIM, as the only state-owned bank specialized in financing industrial and mining projects, will act as the agent bank.
The loans will be secured by MICO’s guarantees and is set to be repaid in 60 months.
The Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade has issued operational licenses for more than 10,500 mines, 4,500 of which are reportedly inactive at present.
"The revival of inactive mines tops our agenda, considering the necessary of boosting non-oil exports," Daryoush Esmaeili, deputy minister of industries, was quoted as saying by IRNA.
The measure is expected to help at least 20% of inactive mines resume operation.
A total of 15.69 million tons of mineral products worth $2.17 billion were exported from Iran in the first five months of the current fiscal year (March 20-Aug. 21).
Steel topped the list of exports in terms of value with $1.11 billion. It was followed by copper with $334.12 million and cement with $120.98 million. In terms of tonnage, cement had the lion’s share with 5.7 million tons, followed by steel with 3 million tons.
Iran’s mineral reserves currently stand at 50 billion tons. New explorations are expected to increase the figure by 20% to 60 billion tons by the end of the current year (March 2021), according to Esmaeili.
Some 410 million tons of minerals were extracted from Iranian mines in the last Iranian year (ended March 19, 2020).
Iran is home to 68 types of minerals with more than 37 billion tons of proven reserves and 57 billion tons of potential reserves.
Overall, Iran is home to more than 7% of global mineral reserves.
“Mining Investment Insurance Corporation is capable of guaranteeing up to 30 trillion rials [$10 million],” Esmaeili said, elaborating on supportive measures taken for attracting more investors in the mining sector.
Established in 2001, MICO is tasked with helping lower the risks of investment in Iranian mines by issuing investment and credit insurance policies. So far, it has collectively issued 1,773 investment guarantees with a total value of 10.3 trillion rials ($30 million).
About $3.2 billion were invested in Iran’s mining and mineral industries in the last fiscal year to register a 60% rise compared to the year before.
According to officials, 31 mineral projects worth $2.27 billion are set to come on stream in the current Iranian year.
Private sector accounts for more than $1 billion worth of the projects that are expected to create 4,113 direct and 23,280 indirect jobs.