The Obstacles and Opportunities of the Mineral Resources in the Kurdistan Region, Iraq
The Kurdistan Region in Iraq is located in the extreme northeastern part of the Arabian Plate which is in a collision since the Late Cretaceous with the Iranian Plate. Therefore, large ophiolite bodies have been thrust along the northeastern margins of Kurdistan Region; accordingly, different metallic mineral can be associated with igneous and metamorphic rocks at Penjween, Qalat Diza and Rawandouz vicinities, besides, radioactive minerals like uranium and thorium. Moreover, large and long thrust fault has developed along the northern and northeastern parts of the Kurdistan Region. Along the plane of this huge thrust fault, hydrothermal liquids have deposited different metallic minerals as showings, especially between Zakho and Amadiyah towns. We have presented and discussed the discipline of mineral investment in Kurdistan Region, the announced minerals’ blocks for investment by the Ministry of Natural Resources in the Kurdistan Regional Government, the encouraging factors and obstacles of investments. To fulfill the scope of this work, we have used the best available and updated data as acquired from different sources. The main obstacles which contributed to the backwardness and non-development of the mining industry in the Kurdistan Region can be summarized in the nonexistence of a valid and promising mineral investment law which can attract the big international mining companies to invest in the region, adding to the nonexistence of comprehensive, detailed and mineral exploration studies which can give confident figures of the mineral and ore reserves in the region. The non-availability of a specialized mining education institution which prepares mining expertise and mining engineers who can lead the progress in this regard could count as another hurdle.