Huge quantities of minerals in Yemen [Archives:2003/631/Business & Economy]

April 14 2003

Recent geological surveys conducted in Yemen have disclosed the existence of huge quantities of minerals encouraging investment, mainly gold, copper, iron and zinc. Preliminary results have proved that existence of these metals in many areas. Geological reserve of gold in al-Harith area is estimated at 16 million tons and a possible reserve estimated at more than 40 million tons. Gold ores are also discovered in al-Faidh area, north of Sa'da at a proportion ranging between five out of ten to 3 grams per each ton.
Discoveries are still yielding positive and encouraging results regarding the existence of other metals in Yemen, the matter that helps develop investment in the mineral sector. The surveys have also reported the existence of zinc, copper, nickel and platinum in commercial quantities.
In al-Hamour sector in Taiz governorate the surveys conducted over the past six years for exploring copper by digging thousands of meters deep inside the rocks there and after analyzing process the results have shown the existence of the metal in big commercial quantities. Geological sources expect that Yemen would reach new results this year in the field of mineral wealth is hidden inside the earth. Competent authorities are conducting surveys in Mareb governorate where the primary results have proved the existence of big quantities of zinc in the southern part of the governorate.
Geological surveys estimate reserve size of zinc, lead, and silver in Mareb area at about 9 million and 400.000 tons. These results indicate that the volume of metals in Yemen is bigger than what has been discovered so far. The exploration operation needs firstly developed technological means for exploration of metals and scientific devices to estimate the volume of reserves. Yemen also needs enough money to conduct scientific studies on minerals and investment in this sector.
Local factors also hinder the investment of metals because of aggravation of problems between tribes and fighting that happens in some areas where metals exist. These factors impede the operation of digging and extracting the mineral wealth.