Iran: Gov" t Promoting Private Mining

Speaking at an annual gathering of industrialists in lead and zinc sectors, the minister stated Thursday that the Ahmadinejad administration backs transfer of mines to private sector to increase mineral production, IRIB reported.
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Noting that he is participating in the gathering as representative of the government, Danesh-Jafari termed as satisfactory participation of private entrepreneurs in copper, zinc, lead and aluminum sectors. He called on industrialists in the fields to help the government identify and solve their problems in a bid to consolidate private mineral production.
He recalled that increasing production activities, encouraging private investors to invest in productive sectors and increasing participation of cooperatives are among the main policies of Article 44 of the Constitution which seeks large-scale privatization and a leaner government.
Meanwhile, speaking at the same gathering, managing director of Iran's Copper Mines Development Companies said the country is the largest producer of copper and lead ingots in the Middle East.
Ali Qanbari underlined that private sector is the leading player in Iran's copper and lead industry, adding that the companies produce three times more than domestic demand.
Putting production of copper ingots by these companies at over 150,000 tons per annum, he cited targets set in the Vision 2025 based on which the figures should reach five million tons by 2025. Qanbari stated that country's copper and lead industrialists currently export 70 percent of their productions.
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Also, Minister of Industries and Mines Ali Akbar Mehrabian stated that Industries and Mines Ministry backs an amendment to Mine Law. He noted that a bill is being drawn up and will soon be submitted to the Majlis to plug pitfalls in the current mining law.
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