Mining tourism still untapped potential in Iran 

June 25, 2021 - 17:38

TEHRAN - Mining tourism as a relatively untapped potential could lead to economic prosperity and fuel boom in the Iran tourism scene by the means of creating new destinations and sustainable jobs for the locals. 

Experts say mining tourism is a new category in the tourism industry, which involves tours of both abandoned and active mines. 

Last year, Iran started to promote mining tourism by launching the first project in the Anguran lead and zinc mine, located 130 kilometers west of the northwestern city of Zanjan.

It seems, however, that Anguran has not yet been promoted effectively as the largest open-pit lead and zinc mine in West Asia, and its pristine nature. 

The province of Zanjan is ranked sixth in the country by the number of mines, and it is very rich in high-grade mines of lead and zinc. The Anguran mine is one of the largest mines of its kind and one of the world’s best zinc and lead deposits. 

The mine has been in use for hundreds of years, but mining operations began underground in 1925. Since 2006, due to exploration and the discovery of high reserves within the mine, it has been operated as an open-pit mine. It is one of the few mines in the world with high metal content.

The Anguran mine is one of the few active mines in the country, with 500 miners working in different sections, that has turned into a tourist destination. 

Methods of exploration and extraction, underground tunnels, travertine mines, machines used for mining, and observing the ways of extracting minerals and rocks, especially precious stones can be engaging for the tourists.

There are also some residential units for tours and individual travelers inside the complex.

Mining tourism is a type of adventure tourism that has gained many fans around the world. Because of the interest of tourists in this category, mining tourism has become one of the most interesting forms of tourism in the world for some time, and it has also been proposed as a way of developing old industrial areas.

The mines can be included in a tourism package in different regions where tourist arrivals can have a positive effect on the local economy. Because of these potentials, they can help create sustainable development, job creation, and poverty reduction in more remote areas of the country and prevent environmental, social, and economic damage in local communities.

In recent years, Iran has developed new programs for tourism development in different branches of the industry including agritourism, which is a subset of a larger industry called rural tourism that includes resorts, off-site farmers' markets, non-profit agricultural tours, and other leisure and hospitality businesses that attract visitors to the countryside.

Zanjan is one of the cities founded by Sassanid King Ardashir I (180-242 CE). The province makes a base for wider explorations with the architectural wonder of Soltaniyeh, the subterranean delights of the Katale-Khor caves, colorful mountains, and the UNESCO-registered Takht-e Soleiman ruins are nearby.


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