By Ebrahim Fallahi

‘Iran to maintain metal exports despite U.S. sanction’

June 8, 2019

TEHRAN - Iranian deputy industry, mining and trade minister said the ministry has taken necessary measures to maintain the country’s metal exports despite U.S. sanctions.

“We have established a special working group in the ministry which is closely assessing the situation and making necessary arrangements to mitigate the impact of U.S. sanctions,” Jafar Sarqeini told the Tehran Times in a press conference in Tehran on Saturday.

The official noted that it is expected for the exports from the country’s mining sector to, at least, reach the last year’s $8.5 billion by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 2020).

“We won’t also have any problems regarding the supply for the domestic consumption in the current year,” he added.

Asked about foreign investment in the industry, the official noted that currently near $1 billion of investment is required for equipping new mines and overhauling some equipment in old ones and over $400 million is also required in exploration and research sectors.

“We hope that both foreign and domestic investors take the chance to enter this lucrative industry,” he added.

Mentioning some of the ministry’s incentive programs for encouraging exports, Sarqeini stated, ”In close cooperation with the customs administration, the industry ministry has significantly moderated the base-prices for metals and minerals in order to ensure the exporters.”

 Mining industry productive and lively

The official further noted that the ministry also plans to revive over 500 of the country’s small mines which have been dormant due to financial or technical issues.

“Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO) has been selected as the operator of this program and the organization is following the plans closely,” he said.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Sarqeini mentioned the positive and upward trend of the mining industry’s production, saying, “The mining sector has witnessed a constant rise in production levels in the past few years and we intend to keep this trend in the years to come.”

The official put the mining industry’s production level at 460 million tons for the past Iranian calendar year (ended on March 20) and expressed hope that the output for the industry will reach 500 million tons by the end of the current year.

“Based on our studies and new explorations’ data, it is expected that the country’s iron ore and copper resources would double in the upcoming years,” the official said.

Mining sector to inject $2 billion to NIMA

Asked about the re-injection of exports revenues into the country’s financial cycle, Sarqeini noted that in the past Iranian calendar year, the mining sector injected $1.5 billion of foreign currencies into the country’s Forex Management Integrated System (locally known as NIMA).

“This year we expect the mining sector to, at least, bring back $2 billion to NIMA,” he added.

EF/MA

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