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A New Destination For Copper, Zinc And Natural Gas

I’m always on the hunt for the next great exploration destination. And it’s been very intriguing the last few weeks to see leads opening up in one country — for both metals and petroleum.

That place is Iran. A nation I've written about a lot for its resource potential.

And the rest of the world seems to be catching on to the upside here. Judging from news on new exploration and development deals being pursued in the country.

Last week, local press reported that Russia has agreed to investigate mining across Iran. With Russian Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Sergey Donskoy visiting the country to sign cooperation agreements for the minerals sector.

Iranian officials said they were particularly interested in Russian expertise on underground mining. Given that Iran's existing mining operations are almost exclusively open pits. Related: The Easy Oil Is Gone So Where Do We Look Now?

No details were given on which metals Russia will pursue -- but Iran has a wide slate to choose from, including copper, gold, lead-zinc and iron ore.

At the same time, Iran's petroleum sector is getting increased foreign attention. With local reports suggesting that a "Japanese delegation" has been in the country looking for opportunities in natural gas.

The move is reportedly coming after a directive from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, calling on Japanese firms to diversify natural gas supply sources.

Japanese companies have tried their hand in Iran's petroleum sector before. Signing a deal in 2000 to develop a major oil field here. Related: Is There Any Hope Left For Nuclear Energy?

That project however, never proceeded. And this month's visit is the first time since that aborted deal that Japan has once again looked at Iran for petroleum projects.

All of which is a strong endorsement of Iran's excellent resource potential. Making this a place to watch for deals coming -- and a spot to consider for new projects in mining and oil/gas, as negotiations with the Western world continue to offer a possibility of business openings here.

Here's to being a double threat,

Dave Forest

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