Iran plans to auction thousands of small and medium-sized mines as part of its efforts to create more jobs and spur more activity in its booming metals and mining sector.
Iran’s Minister of Industries, Mine and Trade Reza Fatemi Amin said on Saturday that the Iranian government will hold 5,000 auctions within the next three months to sell the mines to private investors.
“Some 5,000 government-owned mines will be put at the disposal of people for a first time with the purpose of using these resources to boost production and jobs in the country,” Fatemi Amin was quoted as saying by the IRIB News.
The minister made the remarks while visiting a coal mine in the northeastern province of Golestan. He said the move to privatize small and medium sized mines will be a unique project that would trigger a boom in the Iranian mining sector.
The Iranian government has already divested its shares in many large mines across the country although those shares have mostly been purchased by financial institutions and semi-government companies.
Selling mines to smaller investors will be first in Iran as the country moves to diversify its economy away from crude revenues.
That comes as Iran has increasingly relied on exports revenues from its metals and mining sector since 2018 when oil exports from the country came under American sanctions.
Mining output and exports have grown steadily in Iran in recent years while the government has been able to create tens of thousands of new jobs in the sector, especially for the youth living in the poorer regions of the country.
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