Iraq is preparing for tenders in the industrial and mining sectors

The Iraqi Minister of Industry and Minerals Mohammed Shiaa Sudanese, the importance of «the private sector has an important role at this stage to draw a strategy to promote the industrial reality and support the national economy». Pointing to the existence of a plan to invest the most important local minerals, including sulfur and phosphate, especially as Iraq is now ranked first in the world in terms of the volume of reserves, and the second in terms of phosphate reserves.

Al-Sudani said in an interview with Al-Hayat newspaper that his ministry "made progress in rehabilitating its factories and developing its production, using the amounts allocated to the ministry in the annual investment budget between 2008 and 2014, in which it managed to rehabilitate some of its production lines while 152 factories Of the 283, the card is not complete for many reasons, including the lack of electricity and lack of demand for products because of dumping non-conforming products and unfair competition ».

He announced that the Ministry of Industry «seeks to restructure some of its companies for the benefit of the private sector through the activation of Resolution 492 for the contracts of participation and resolution 162 for the manufacture of others, and we are currently preparing files for investment opportunities in the sector of petrochemicals and fertilizers after obtaining approvals from the Economic Affairs Committee of the Council of Ministers».

He explained that this «allows the Arab and international companies to invest in this important sector, to be a catalyst for many industries in the public and private sectors». He explained that the ministry "has been keen to achieve a national industry competition regionally and globally to achieve a diversified economy, which contributes to the creation of additional jobs and the use of resources effectively, and that the private sector has a key role to support the national economy.

Al-Sudani pointed out that «the unregulated import programs contributed to the waste of huge funds, as Iraq spent on imported goods about $ 221 billion between 2006 and 2014». He pointed out that the ministry "started activating a package of previously legislated laws, including the Tariff Law, the Protection of Consumer Product and the Industrial Investment Law, and passed a number of laws that improve the industrial working environment of the private sector and investors, especially medium and small enterprises, renewable energy law and industrial cities. To expedite the adoption of the mineral investment law to invest important resources in Iraq, from the mineral ores and industrial rocks ».

Al-Sudani stressed that «Iraq's reserves of free sulfur is the highest in the world in terms of quantity, followed by phosphate in second place after Morocco, as well as abundant sources of limestone and silica sand and the poles of Kaolin and Bentonite and other minerals, which enter the multiple industries».

A member of the Committee on Economy and Investment MP Fares Al-Faris said «the presence of efforts to invest Iraq's resources of sulfur and phosphate, which are available in very large quantities, especially in Anbar province». He considered that «investment locally is difficult, and must enter international investment companies specialized in this area».

Al-Faris said that the government companies of the Ministry of Industry failed to keep Iraq a producer of sulfur and phosphate. Therefore, demands have been made to invest these natural resources by the private sector and start announcing them as opportunities for foreign investment capable of securing an additional resource that Iraq's oil can not secure to the state treasury. .

Iraq's reserves of sulfur are about 600 million tons of organic origin, accounting for about 36 percent of the global reserves that could be extracted in a mattress, and about 17 percent of the total Of other forms of sulfur.

Iraq has also the first reserve in the phosphate and quantities of up to 10.8 billion tons, but these huge reserves of sulfur and phosphate have remained since the discovery of the middle of the last century, not exploited economically because of a law prepared by the same as oil resources that are prohibited by the private sector investment, Without investment after 2003 and falling in areas characterized by hot weather over the past years, the provinces of Nineveh and Anbar.

Al-Faris revealed that "the investment portfolio of sites for the production of phosphate will be moved after the liberation of Anbar lands in the form of a full-fledged organization, and it will be announced within a short period of time to be transferred to one of the European companies for investment through the system of participation in the production ratios." He pointed out that «the scarcity of funding allocated to the Ministry of Industry prevented the rehabilitation of these companies and start production, although Iraq's production of sulfur was more than one million tons per year and more than 3 million tons of phosphate».

He stressed that «the phosphate sector is one of the promising sectors because of the size of the large reserves and the highest purity ratios in the world, and there are dozens of European and American companies and even the Arab, which has advanced to win the investment contract, but we are keen to give such files to companies with solid experience and capital».

The head of the "Geological Survey" in the Ministry of Industry and Minerals Safaauddin Fakhri, that "the Commission continues to update the map of the geological survey, and provided a detailed exploration map of the Investment Authority to start the exploitation of natural resources in Iraq. He explained that «all the natural wealth is offered for investment now, after the previous laws to prevent it».

The mission of the Geological Survey is to discover and identify all natural mineral resources, such as iron, copper, zinc and non-metallic materials such as sulfur and phosphates.

"The existence of problems hindering the discovery process, related to the lack of financial allocations, especially that the Commission does not catch the price of its exploration and other services, although it generates financial returns to the Treasury of the proportion of fixed materials produced.

"The reserves of natural resources are changing either in the direction of increase if new quantities are added to them, or they are depleted and gradually reduced, but in the case of Iraq is in continuous increase because of not invest in the optimal form.

"In Anbar province, only 1.3 billion tons of phosphate can be increased, but there is no company capable of investing such quantities. Here, it can be given to 100 investors, so there is opposition to land ownership for foreign investors in the mining sector," he said. Can contain other non-invested materials. "

"This is not possible at present because of the presence of different metals in the same region, and there are no companies that specialize in more than one material," Fakhri said. According to experts, the investment of these natural materials, namely sulfur, phosphate and high purity silica, could secure the state treasury between $ 4 billion and $ 6 billion.