Baku, Azerbaijan, May 18
By Fatih Karimov - Trend:
Around 5,600 mines are currently operating in Iran.
Ali Yazdani, director of resources management department at the Iranian industry ministry, said a total of 7,000 operating and non-operating mines exist in the country, Iran's ISNA news agency reported on May 18.
Iran has the potential to extract up to 80 minerals through expanding exploration operations, IRIB quoted chairman of Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO) Mehdi Karbasian as saying on January 6.
So far, 68 minerals have been identified and extracted across the country, he added.
However, exploration operations have been carried out just over 100,000 square meters kilometer area of the country, he said.
In October, Karbasian said that the value of incomplete mineral projects in Iran reaches $5.7 billion.
The projects are related to nearly 60 mines in the country, he said, adding that IMIDRO needs $28 billion to implement its development projects by the end of the fifth five-year national development plan (2015).
Iran holds three per cent of the world's mineral reserves which puts the country first in the Middle East and third in Asia.
Iran is ranks among the 15 major mineral-rich countries of the world and exports its industrial and mineral products to 159 countries, including Iraq, China, the United Arab Emirates, India and Afghanistan.
The important mines of Iran include coal, metallic minerals, sand and gravel, chemical minerals and salt.
The country has the world's largest zinc and second largest copper deposits and ranks ninth for its iron reserves.