Iran is to seek bids for 15 mining projects for international investors to develop, according to Bloomberg.
Mehdi Karbasian (pictured), the deputy minister of Industries, Mines and Trade, said in an interview in Tehran that President Hassan Rouhani plans to visit France and Italy in November to sign development agreements on some of the projects.
Tenders to develop the 15 projects should be issued within the next four months, with the first one proposed in October to build the Neekouyeh gold mine west of Tehran, he said.
Iran’s gold production is forecast to triple from 2013 to 10,000 kilograms (321,507 troy ounces) by next year, with iron ore, steel, chromite, aluminum , bauxite, copper and zinc output also growing, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
“We will not put any restrictions on the participation of international companies interested in Iran’s mining industry,” Karbasian said. “Interested parties can come forward for 100 percent ownership or enter into joint partnerships with us or do so with a local or international company of their choice.”
Aluminum and steel projects have generated the interest of Italian companies, while French firms are eyeing aluminum and “technical cooperation,” Karbasian said.
Iran also wants partnerships with international companies active in rare earth metals. “The possibility for the exploration of titanium and scandium is very promising,” he said.