An Iranian government official says the country has the potential to generate more revenue from mining than it does from oil.
Mojtaba Khosrowtaj, first deputy minister at the Industry, Mines, and Trade Ministry was quoted as making the comments in an interview published on November 29.
Khosrowtaj told Bloomberg that metals such as copper and rare earth elements could be worth “much more” than Iran’s oil industry revenue of $30 billion, assuming crude at $40 a barrel and exports of 2 million barrels a day.
He said domestic and foreign companies need to be encouraged to develop the metal sector, which he said is still using equipment developed 15 or 20 years ago because of a lack of funds due to sanctions.
Under a nuclear deal reached with world powers in July, Tehran agreed to curb its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions.