Not one, but two important developments this week from a nation that’s quickly becoming one of the most interesting spots in global natural resources. Iran.
Most investors are aware of Iran’s significant potential for oil and gas. Which this week came center-stage when the government finalized dates for a long-awaited bid round on fields across the country.
Local press reported Tuesday that the Iranian government will begin an oil and gas bid round for foreign operators on June 21. With previous reports suggesting that about 70 different fields could be offered for joint venture with incoming partners. Related: Will OPEC Use This Strategy To Defeat U.S. Shale?
This could be one of the biggest petroleum bid rounds of recent memory. Especially since Iran has been making strides to improve its petroleum contracts — making them more attractive to outside investors by allowing for ownership of in-ground reserves.
At the same time, news also emerged this week that Iran is aggressively pursuing joint ventures in a completely different resource space — the copper industry.
As revealed Tuesday by Mehdi Karbasian, president of national firm Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization, the government has recently held meetings with some of the largest copper producers on the planet. Including Rio Tinto, Glencore and Trafigura — which Iranian officials met in Germany, to discuss potential cooperation in copper.
Karbasian added that the government is now moving ahead with further negotiations on mining projects. With a slate of such meetings expected as part of a mining summit to be held in Tehran in July. Related: Traders Watch Oil Chokepoints As Geopolitical Risk Soars
These discussions look to be serious — with officials saying they are targeting national copper concentrate production of 2 million tonnes per year by 2025. A figure that would represent a ten-fold increase from the 200,000 tonnes per year that Iran currently produces.
All of which suggests that we’re going to see a lot of new deals here, in a wide range of commodities. Watch for news on bidders in the oil and gas round later this summer, and potential transactions in the mining space coming out the summit in July.
Here’s to the next big thing,
By Dave Forest
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