By Mahnaz Abdi

Reviving small mines, a big step toward ‘Surge in Production’

May 25, 2020 - 17:7

Reviving the small mines was one of the major plans that Iran’s mining sector was seriously pursuing in the past Iranian calendar year (ended on March 19), which was named the year of “Pickup in Production”.

Last year, Khodadad Gharibpour, the head of Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO), had mentioned this plan as one of the most significant plans of “Resistance Economy”, saying that IMIDRO was strongly determined to carry out it.

Such strong will resulted in reviving 146 small mines in the previous year, although the planned figure was 150, which did not come true because of the coronavirus pandemic in the last month of the year.

Reviving the small mines is also among the top plans of the country’s mining sector in the current Iranian calendar year, which is named the year of “Surge in Production”.

IMIDRO head has announced that the organization is planning to revive 200 small mines in the present year.

“Given the significance of reviving small mines, we have doubled the organization’s internal budget for the plan to revive small mines in the current year”, Gharibpour announced last week in a meeting on monitoring the plan for reviving and developing the small mines.

According to the official, based on an MOU signed three years ago, 500 small mines were planned to be revived throughout the country in a course of five years to create jobs for 25,000 people.

This year’s slogan of surge in production means that more minerals should be supplied as the feedstock for the industrial units, and it indicates the significance of reviving and developing the small mines (which constitute 98 percent of mines in the country) as some major sources of such supply.

IMIDRO and other related organizations have already announced their support for this plan and the mining sector’s officials have been suggesting different strategies for optimizing implementation of the plan.

During the last week’s meeting on monitoring the plan for reviving and developing the small mines, IMIDRO head noted that omitting the tax on the export of decorative stones can pave the way for reviving a noticeable number of 900 existing mines of such stones.

Gharibpour also mentioned the establishment of a consortium of small and medium-sized mines for financing the related projects via the stock market as another strategy to facilitate reviving of such mines.

The official has also announced that IMIDRO plans to support knowledge-based companies with innovative ideas that can solve problems in the mining industry.

Addressing the same meeting, Vajihollah Jafari, the chairman of the coordination council of reviving and developing small mines, said, “We support any new and innovative idea in terms of reviving the small mines.”

He said, “Some 27 MOUs were signed with the large mining holdings in the past year, and also over 100 investors have announced readiness to implement small mines reviving projects, which indicate the plan’s success in attracting the private sector’s contribution.”

Chairman of Iran Mine House Mohammadreza Bahraman, for his part, mentioned reviving the small mines a proper measure and stressed that this plan can be more successful through the reduction of unnecessary bureaucracy.

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