Ecclestone on the Iranian Mining Market: Potential “Huge” – by Christopher Ecclestone ( – February 4, 2016)

As emerging markets go the last great unopened can of beans is Iran. With the removal of international sanctions on trade and investment the rush will be on to get positioned in Iran’s mining scene.

Sure small emerging markets appear from time to time but Iran is a very large economy with enormous export revenues from oil, a highly prospective geological profile and a large and rather well-educated population.

In this piece I shall give a review of the mining activity at the current time and its potential to grow.

Despite being “beyond the pale” the USGS nevertheless continued to produce reports on the Iranian mineralogical scene. In its latest report (2012) it stated that more than 40 mineral commodities were mined and about 20 metals or mineral-related commodities were refined or manufactured in Iran.

The country was estimated to account for about 9% of the world’s output of gypsum and pumice; more than 2% of the world’s output of barite, feldspar, and sulphur; and more than 1% of the world’s output of cement, industrial (or glass) sand, molybdenum, and nitrogen.

Mines are not many and most are state-owned. Briefly last decade an opening of the economy had some foreign miners (the now defunct Union Resources from Australia and Zarcan from Canada) doing work in the country but then international politics intervened and those ground to a halt.

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