Iran says investment in mining sector surged by 60% in March
The growth in Iran’s mining and metals activity comes despite a series of US bans that have specifically targeted the country’s trade of metals.
According to Press TV, the bans, enacted in May 2019, came after the US authorities failed in their bid to cut Iran’s sale of oil to zero.
The sanctions are part of an attempt by Washington to force a change in Iran’s nuclear activity as well as its foreign policy.
Iranian authorities insist that the US sanctions have caused a diversification of the economy while they have led to new sources of earning hard currency for the country.
The Iranian mining sector has seen a significant surge in investment for new projects, a sign the country is intent on taking benefit of its massive mineral reserves despite American sanctions that have targeted its sale of lucrative metals.
A spokesman for IMIDRO, Iran’s largest metals holding, said on Wednesday that investment in new mining projects, including opening mines or launching processing industries, had reached $3.2 billion over the past calendar year ending March 19.
Mohammad Sepehr said that the figure showed an increase of nearly 60 percent compared to the previous calendar year when total investment in the sector topped $2 billion.
Sepehr said that a boom in investment had taken place despite the sanctions imposed by the US as well as a new coronavirus pandemic that began to hit Iran in late February.
He said another $2.2 billion worth of mining projects would be launched in the current calendar year ending March 2021.
IMIDRO says mine discovery in Iran grew by 210 percent over the past calendar year to reach 310,000 square kilometers. It says expanding the sector led to the creation of 4,790 new jobs, an increase of 30 percent compared to the previous year.