<P dir=ltr align=left>private sector to participate in gold projects talks underwaywith australia</P>
Private Sector to Participate In Gold Projects Talks Underway With <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Australia
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TEHRAN, April 27-- Private mining companies will be permitted to operate in seven gold-rich regions across Iran from March 2005. According to lSNA, the Deputy General for Exploration of The Geological Survey of Iran reported that feasibility studies on seven gold bearing areas; Masgeddaghi Jolfa ,Nabijan ,Sarikhani north of Meshkinshar,Sharafabadand ,Izeh in west of Ahar and three area of Kalaiber in East Aearbijan have been commenced and gold extraction will be started by next year. He said that feasibility studies on four gold projects have already proved positive and the remaining three will be completed by March 2005. He added that three grams of gold could be extracted from each ton of ore in four gold-rich regions in the northwestern province of East Azarbaijan. Gold projects will help create jobs in these areas, the report said; adding that some Australian companies have announced their willingness to participate in Iranian gold projects. They have had some discussion to have cooperation in Kuh-e-Zar gold mine in Kashmar(Khorassan Province).In case to come to a positive conclusion they will cooperate with Zarmehr Co. from Iran. It stressed that the Australians have held talks with local officials in the northeastern province of Khorassan on the project. Currently, only one British company (RIOTINTO CO.) is involved in gold exploration in Iran (DASHKASSAN GOLD PROJECT).