Fundamental explorations in the field of mining, the origin of economic growth and development
The exploration of minerals in Iran has started scientifically since 1939, and although Iran has about 1% of the world’s population and approximately 1% of the world’s area, it has about 7% of the world’s mineral resources. With nearly 70 types of ore minerals among the countries of the world, Iran is among the first 15 countries in the world in terms of the amount of exploration mineral reserves, despite all this, the portion of mining in the GDP is below 1%, and this shows that the country’s mineral has not been used properly and the country’s economy has not benefited from the mining industry as much as it should.
Since the use of these capacities is one of the most important ways to improve and grow the country’s economy, the role of mines in the national GDP requires the expansion of mineral exploration.
One of the biggest problems in the country’s mining industry is the lack of investment in the mineral exploration part, and the failure to carry out exploration activities correctly has caused the loss of countless opportunities for the growth and development of the country’s mining industry and economy. If paying attention to exploration and having the right strategy in this field by completing the mining value chain, in addition to job creation, this industry can produce high value-added and finally play its part in the country’s economic growth.
Currently, it is very difficult to reconnaissance and explore ore minerals, especially for polymetallic deposits, considering surface outcrops only, because most of the surface mineral reserves are running out. with the passage of time and the consumption of surface mineral resources that could be identified by simple exploration technology, it is necessary to seek exploration methods and cutting-edge technologies to be able to identify deeper and hidden reserves and thus be able to respond to human needs in the future. This issue requires the use of more advanced equipment and technology and the use of new methods in the exploration of minerals, the knowledge of using these types of equipment, and the up-to-date science of geology and exploration.
The different stages of mineral exploration include the following:
- Reconnaissance includes conducting preliminary studies and remote sensing, preparing basic geological information, and reviewing and preparing geological maps to identify areas that are prone to continue exploration activities.
- Prospecting which includes field visits and exploration in the promising areas determined in the reconnaissance phase.
- General explorations that take place in the priority areas introduced in the prospecting phase.
- Detailed explorations are carried out in the areas where, in the general exploration phase, the continuation of exploration operations is technically and economically justified.
In recent years, we have seen significant progress in the field of exploration. Developing sensors to identify minerals and ore minerals, using advanced geophysical methods and devices to measure changes in physical properties and earth anomalies and determine the position and shape of a possible deposit, using drones (Unmanned aerial vehicles) and remote control devices, using a variety of geochemical methods, using advanced drilling devices for deep vertical and horizontal drilling, developing ways to model and use advanced software to analyze and interpret geological data to identify mineral anomalies, using portable analysis equipment for rapid analysis of rock samples, using a variety of new laboratory equipment and methods for conducting various analyzes on mineral samples is one of these advances and technology developments.
With all the growth of technology and mining and exploration development tools, today in our country, the exploration part is facing many challenges, including:
- The existence of (interfering factors) local opponents and preventing them from carrying out exploratory activities in different ways
- The different rules and policies of the Ministry of SAMT in the field of mining exploration and sometimes the lack of proper implementation of the existing laws by the SAMT organizations of the provinces
- Constraints created by institutions such as Natural Resources and Environment and their preferences behavior
- High exploration costs and risks, especially for the private companies
- Limited or inappropriate government support to the private companies
- The time-consuming mechanism of receiving inquiries after the registration of mining areas and the non-implementation of Article 24 of the Mining Law by most SAMT organizations of the provinces
- The establishment of laws and restrictions created for the export of minerals, as well as the impact of exports from political conflicts and the lack of a clear vision for the future of minerals that are in the exploration phase.
- Lack of specialists and experienced experts in the field of exploration
Since mining is a supplier of raw materials needed by many industries and plays a significant role in increasing the GDP and creating productive employment. The beginning and cornerstone of mining activity is correct exploration and exploration should be viewed as an investment for the future despite its high cost and risk. The government should play its role properly in this field by supporting private companies and removing existing restrictions.
In the end, considering all the benefits and value-added created by the development of the country’s mines and its huge value-creation potential, I hope that on the day named Industry and Mining Day, we will see more and more meaningful efforts to change the approaches and build the perspective of this industry. On this day, I congratulate all the activists in this field who compassionately do not stop trying despite all the difficulties.
CEO of Persore Company