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Three int’l firms interested to explore new deposits of potash

By JT - May 12,2018 - Last updated at May 12,2018

AMMAN — The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry is currently considering financial proposals from three companies interested to carry out an assessment study of the potash reserves in the Lisan Area of the Dead Sea, which falls outside the area where the Arab Potash Company (APC) has exclusive mining rights, a top official announced on Saturday.

Minister Saleh Kharabsheh said in a ministry press statement, carried by the Jordan News Agency, Petra, that the ministry’s next step is to float an international tender to explore potash in the said area.

He explained that that the project is part of the ministry’s strategy to enhance the added value of the Kingdom’s mining sector and boost its contribution to the gross domestic product.

The minister stressed the importance of this step in attracting investments in natural resources, especially since these natural resources have added value that can enhance development opportunities, help the country achieve self-reliance and create more jobs.

In March, Kharabsheh had a firsthand look at progress in the execution of a deal signed with the Jordanian Integrated Company to explore copper in the Dana Reserve with a total investment volume of $600 million.

In parallel, work is ongoing in the Attarat project aimed at producing electricity from oil shale in the Attarat Umm Ghadran region, at a total investment of JD2.2 billion, the statement underlined. 

The ministry in February signed two 40-year concession agreements with Karak International Oil and the Saudi Arabian Corporation for Oil Shale to exploit oil shale with surface distillation for oil production in the Lajoun and Attarat Umm Al Ghudran areas.

Under to the two agreements, the production of oil shale in the Lajoun area is expected to reach 25,000 barrels a day and 30,000 barrels a day at Umm Al Ghudran, an 11sq.km area, where 2,500 barrels of oil are expected to be produced in the initial phase.

Potash exploration, manufacturing and marketing are currently conducted by APC, which was established in 1956,   and has signed with the states a 99-year agreement to extract, manufacture and market Dead Sea natural resources.   

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