0556 GMT January 16, 2021
The head of the Geological Survey and Mineral Exploration of Iran announced that the share of mines and mining industries in the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) is about eight percent.
Talking in an exclusive interview with Iran Daily, Alireza Shahidi said that given that Iran, with 81 types of minerals, is one of the richest countries in the world in mineral resources, it needs to increase its mineral production to be used in various industries.
“The country’s mineral reserves, along with oil, can create great wealth for the country, provided that in the sector of exploration, mineral reserves are discovered and exploited in an appropriate way,” he said.
In this regard, a three-dimensional geological map of Iran is being prepared in cooperation with France’s Sorbonne University, Shahidi added.
Referring to the country’s need to increase exploration budgets in the mining sector, the official stated: “Due to the lack of budget in this sector, more mineral exploration has been done on the surface parts of mines while we need to extend our operations in this field into the depths of the Earth.”
Shahidi went on to say that the country’s iron ore reserves will be depleted in the next 10 to 13 years, adding that the discovered copper reserves of the country will be enough for only another 14 years, and we have the same situation with regard to other mineral reserves including lead and zinc.
Noting that the first innovation and technology center of the Geological Survey and Mineral Exploration of Iran is ready for launch, he said, “With the support of Sorena Sattari, the vice president for science and technology, it is going to be materialized.”
The official said his organization is responsible for producing basic information in this sector through mineral exploration and the identification of mineral-related topics.
Referring to the new branches of geology in the country, Shahidi explained medical geology is a branch that studies the role of minerals in human and animal bodies.
“Also, the branch of agricultural geology (agrogeology) has been established in the country, which studies the effects of minerals on fertility and soil dehydration,” he added.
The Geological Survey and Mineral Exploration of Iran has been involved in geotourism and geopark-related topics for about 20 years, the official said, adding that the Qeshm geopark, as the only geopark in the Middle East, was registered by the Global Network of Geoparks (GGN) in Paris on March 21, 2006.
Shahidi noted: “Currently, 30 areas across the country that enjoy good geological potentials have been identified,” adding that each year one of them is submitted to GGN registration in UNESCO Global Geoparks List.
He continued, “If these zones are registered as international geoparks in the world, we can use the benefits of this registration in boosting our tourism.”
Given the good potential of the country in the field of geotourism, if this issue is addressed, the country can benefit financially, the official noted.
He said that after the registration of Qeshm Island as a global geopark, the file of Aras geopark, in the northwestern province of East Azarbaijan, will be sent to UNESCO and, in the next step, the Tabas zone will be introduced for global registration.