Jordan to explore for minerals, precious metals

Phosphate mines
An undated photo of Jordan’s phosphate mines taken from a NASA space satellite. (Photo: Flickr)
AMMAN — Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Saleh Al-Kharabsheh said that Jordan has begun exploration for minerals and will conduct studies to decide the economic feasibility of extracting them, according to Ammon News.اضافة اعلان

The minister was quoted by another local media outlet as saying that the ministry will sign an agreement with a company to explore gold in Abu Khushaiba region, particularly in the Jabal Al-Mubarak area; the quantities of gold are unidentified, but studies will decide the economic feasibility of mining for gold and other minerals.

Kharabsheh added that the ministry will sign three memoranda of understanding to explore gold, copper, and rare earth metals.

He added that preliminary studies have indicated the presence of large quantities of potash in the Lisan area, near the Dead Sea, which is outside the area under Arab Potash Company concession, adding that the ministry urged the company to participate in the explorations in the region, which will be for gold, lithium, copper, phosphate, potash and precious metals.

According to Kharabsheh, the ministry launched a program in December to explore for phosphate to be used in manufacturing industries, not for export.

He said that the ministry is studying four bids to extract copper in three regions of the Kingdom, and that memoranda of understanding will be signed soon. He also said that the copper exploration project in Dana Reserve is in its final stages, only awaiting the Ministry of Environment’s endorsement.

The ministry will use drones to conduct surveys, said Kharabsheh, adding that exploration is currently being done through the ministry's teams, but investment will come from the private sector.

Kharabsheh said that surveys conducted in 2016 pointed to the presence of good quantities of lithium, but studies need to be done to assess whether the quantities are enough to make its exploitation feasible.

Read more Business