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January 2018, No. 86


Cover Story

Iran Maintains Active Presence at IMARC 2017 Australia

“Iran has 68 types of minerals, enormous energy resources, convenient access to international waters, a consumer market of 80 million, and is situated in the middle of a big consumer market of 500 million people.” Dr. Karbasian said


The fourth International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) and a sideline exhibition was held in Melbourne, Australia, from October 30 to November 2, 2017. The conference is one of the most prestigious international events in Australia. Iran is keen to have technological relations and joint investment with Australia, one of the world’s leading countries in mining and mineral industries.

This year, the Iranian delegation attended the conference upon an official invitation from the Victorian government. The Iranian team was one of the largest delegations in Australia. Dr. Mehdi Karbasian, CEO of the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO) and Deputy Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade, led the Iranian delegation. The team comprised public-private sector representatives and held several meetings with foreign partners. The private sector of Iran, with 25 representatives, had an active presence in this gathering.

On the first day of the conference, Karbasian introduced Iran’s investment opportunities as a keynote speaker. He explained the reforms to the investment laws in Iran and pointed to investment opportunities in the mining and mineral sector of Iran worth $50 billion. According to him, the creation of special economic and investment zones beside open seas and high energy resources in southern Iran, along with a consumer market of 500 million people in the region, have created one of the best investment opportunities. He continued: “In 2015, when I came to Australia, numerous negotiations were held with the government and the private sector here. In the post-JCPOA era, Australian and Iranian public and private companies held many meetings, and there was an understanding between the two sides. Today, private companies from Iran are attending the conference and will visit Australian corporations and mines, while several meetings have been held. There also several MoUs have been inked that will promote bilateral relations.”

In recent weeks, some European banks have decided to step up exchanges with Iran, he said, adding that at the moment, about $30 billion in finance has been opened by Asian countries. “And soon we will see a higher level from European countries.”

Karbasian also talked about the relative and competitive advantages of mining and mineral industries in Iran and described the strategic situation of Iran to the audience. He said: “Iran has 68 types of minerals, enormous energy resources, convenient access to international waters, a consumer market of 80 million, and is situated in the middle of a big consumer market of 500 million people. Iran has world-class open-air mines and skilled engineers, specialists and technicians.”

He also briefly described the status of Iran in steel, copper, aluminum, lead and zinc, and talked about Iran’s resolve to complete these chains by the 2025 Outlook Plan. He finally pointed to IMIDRO’s extensive exploration of 250,000 square meters, saying that the results of these discoveries have created new investment opportunities in Iran. He invited all international investors to visit Iran and use this rare opportunity to forge mutually beneficial growth and profit.

Karbasian attended a luncheon thrown in honor of senior officials attending the conference and met with officials from the Australian state of Victoria, including its treasury and mines minister.

In the follow-up sessions of the conference, the Iranian delegation held a meeting with officials of Austmine (Australian Mining Equipment, Technology and Services Association) which with 400 members is the largest Australian Mining Association.

Meanwhile, Vajihollah Jafari, CEO of Iran Minerals Production and Supply Company (IMPASCO), also had an effective presence in IMARC 2017. IMPASCO is the executive arm of IMIDRO in the mining sector. It signed a few notes on cooperation with Australian companies during the trip of the Iranian delegation.

In this event, Seyed Hossein Hashemi, adviser to interior minister and senior mining expert, as well as Bahram Shakouri, commission chairman of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA),l and the CEO of Mobin Road and Mining Construction Company, accompanied Karbasian.

Karbasian also met with CEO of Fortescue Metals Group (FMG), Neville Power, the largest iron ore company in Australia and invited him to participate in the development of iron and steel chains from the stage of exploration to processing. To this end, the first working session was held in Melbourne and it was decided that FMG vice president, Tony Swiericzuk set up a joint working group between IMIDRO and FMG. The first meeting of the joint group was held in Melbourne.

At a special dinner thrown in honor of the Iranian delegation by John Bolt, Minister of Economics and Mines of the State of Victoria, discussions were held on increased cooperation and ways to develop bilateral ties. Negotiations were also held with Newcrest, the largest gold producer in Australia on its participation in Iranian gold mine projects, as well as transfer of technology, expertise and training.

Another meeting was held with senior ATC officials who welcomed presence in the Iranian market. Karbasian also gave an interview to the Reuters in which he spoke about the capabilities and potentials of Iran’s mining and mineral industries, which was covered by the news media.

In another development, the Iranian delegation visited the Australian lead and zinc mines and talked about transfer of experiences to Iran and presence in its world-class mines, which was welcomed by the Australian side.
By properly taking advantage of the opportunity provided in Melbourne, Karbasian presented the comparative and competitive advantages of Iran in mining and mineral industries to the participants from 77 countries and invited all major international companies to participate actively in mining and mineral projects in Iran. According to experts present at IMARC 2017, Dr. Karbasian is known as a successful figure in the mineral economy, and most large companies know him as a smiling face.

Since specialized training and transfer of skill experiences is one of the important goals of Dr. Karbasian as the steersman of IMIDRO, he did not overlook this aspect of his responsibility along with Shamsuddin Siasi Rad, IMIDRO Director of Education, Research and Technology.

In this trip, a Memorandum of Understanding has been prepared to be signed with Western Australia University. The two sides have agreed on establishment of a joint specialist training institute in the mining and mineral sector in Iran. Also, extensive talks were held with the Australian Technical and Further Education (TAFE) College and Holmesglen Institute to conduct mine training courses that will be operational during the next three months. In continuation, negotiations were held with the Melbourne University on specialized water management and portable minerals equipment courses, and the talks will continue.

Among other members of the Iranian delegation from the private sector, were Ardeshir Saad Mohammadi and Heydar Zayghami, two senior managers of Iran’s Zinc Mines Development Holding. They set up a booth at IMARC 2017 sideline exhibition and inked MoUs on economic development cooperation with the Australian parties and some participants from other countries. The managing director of Isfahan’s Mobarakeh Steel Co. also held meetings with leading Australian companies on modern mining and processing technologies. Another important group attending the conference and exhibition was the specialized team of Gol Gohar Industrial and Mineral Complex, headed by Nasser Taqizadeh. He held several meetings with Australian partners and delegates from other countries on Gol Gohar’s development plans and the international trade chain. Fakoor Sanat Company was another successful Iranian company and contractor in mining and mineral industries which participated in the conference.

 

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  January 2018
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