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Jordan bets on mining to heal USD 3 bln deficit

News report AMMAN, May 5 (KUNA) -- Jordan at the official level is seeking to create new local income resources to cope with the state budget deficit projected at USD three billion in 2024.
Jordan, a country with scarce economic resources, focused over the past two years on mining and signed 11 memoranda of understanding with Arab and foreign companies to explore profit-generating raw materials.
Minister of Energy Saleh Al-Kaharbshe, cited by a statement released by his department, said the memos, of 12-24 months mandates, aim at exploring raw materials namely gold, copper, lithium, phosphates and other underground resources.
He said Jordan is seeking to expand the mining industry and investment for sake of creating more jobs, and companies are studying the memos before signing concessions' deals.
For its part, the Ministry of Energy, he said, had signed a memorandum of understanding with a local company to work out a map determining the most feasible explorations for minerals. Moreover, the ministry launched an electronic website for investment opportunities in minerals, petroleum and shale oil.
The Ministry of Investments has launched the electronic website, "Invest in Jordan," promoting plenty of mining ventures.
The inked memos include one that had been signed by the Ministry of Energy to explore for copper in Dana, in the south of the Kingdom, for phosphate in Al-Risha in the East, gold in Jabal Al-Mubarak in the Jordan Valley, lithium in Vinan Valley, in addition to potash in the Dead Sea region.
The memos stipulate exploration for copper in Abu Khashiba region, gold in the same regions, lithium in the Dead Sea and other rare underground materials in Dbaidib in the South in addition to searching for copper in Malaqa, the Dead Sea.
According to official statistics, proceeds from the mining industry in 2024 would hit USD 4.39 billion, including USD 2.74 billion from the extraction industries and USD 1.64 billion from the processing industries.
The mining industry contributed to the gross domestic product, in 2021, with 9.12 percent proportion, with the mining industry accounting to 30.4 percent of the whole exports, the same year.
The Jordanian Government has recently endorsed the 2024 budget with a projected deficit amounting to USD three billion. (end) amn.rk