Official: 17 coal production plants under construction in Iran create 10,000 jobs
Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb.26 / Trend, F. Mehdi/
Seventeen coal production plants are underway in Iran, which are projected to raise the country's coal output to 4.6 million tons, IRNA quoted Iranian deputy industry minister Fereydoon Ahmadi as saying.
The plans are estimated to cost €607 million and 7.59 trillion Rials (about $620 million), and will create 10,000 direct jobs, he added.
On February 11, Ahmadi said that Iran has invested 131 billion Rials (about $10.6 million) in 15 mining projects.
The projects are related to building access roads to mines and supplying power to them, he added.
In January, IRNA quoted Iranian Industry, Mine, and Trade Minister Mehdi Ghazanfari as saying that Iran's existing mineral reserves will sustain for 140 years if 400 million tons of the reserves are extracted annually.
Iran's discovered mineral reserves are valued at over $770 billion, he noted.
The potential mineral reserves are estimated to be 57-58 billion tons, of which 37-38 billion tons have been proven, he said.
On September 4, 2012, Ghazanfari said that Iran possesses two percent of the world's total mineral reserves.
He added that the mineral reserves include 12 metal and 36 non-metal ores.
About 5,000 mines are being excavated in the country, he stated, adding that around 340 million tons of minerals were extracted in the previous Iranian calendar year, which ended on March 19.
Earlier this year, Geology and Mineral Exploration Organization Deputy Director Behrouz Borna said that the Islamic Republic of Iran has the largest mineral reserves in the Middle East.
Iran is also one of the top 15 countries in the world in regard to mineral reserves and exports its industrial and mineral products to 159 countries, including Iraq, China, the United Arab Emirates, India, and Afghanistan, he stated.