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Jordan is considered rich in mineral resources; some of them were exploited, exported and also consumed in the domestic manufacture of fertilizers such as phosphate and potash. Meanwhile, limestone is also exploited and exported. The mining industry in Jordan is dominated by the production of phosphate, potash, building and decoration stones, glass sand and other nonmetallic resources. Recently, Jordan has been ranked as the sixth largest producer and the second largest exporter of phosphate, the fourth largest producer and the second largest exporter of potash, and has the 5th largest oil- shale reserves in the world. Jordan also has sustainable amounts of uranium around 3% of the world resources. Mineral resources reported to be available in Jordan include; silica sand, feldspar, gypsum, zircon, copper, gold, chalk, bentonite, diatomite, dolomite, zeolite (zeolitic tuff) basalt, oil shale, rare earth elements, and kaolin many of which are yet to be exploited on a large scale, and presents investors with great opportunities. With respect to Oil Shale according to the Jordanian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources there are more than 18 known surfaces and near surface deposits. The Ministry also reports of the availability of copper mineralization. They report that the first discovery of copper mineralization in Jordan was in the fifties of the 20th century in Wadi Dana/Wadi Araba area. In ancient times, there were many mining activities for extracting copper which are indicated by the slags and old mines in Khirbet El-Nahas, Wadi Jaryia and other localities. Furthermore, the ministry reported that recent geochemical prospecting in Jordan by the Natural Resources Authority (NRA) detected anomalous gold values over the northern extremity of the Arabian-Nubian shield in South Jordan. The best anomaly sited over felsic volcanic rocks in Wadi Abu Khushayba Area, returned gold values up to 40g/t in heavy mineral concentrations collected from stream sediments. Visible gold was observed in heavy mineral concentration. The Jordanian Public Mining Company is also currently mining gypsum from River Zarqa (Wadi Azab), Malih, and, Burbaita (South Jordan) areas for the cement industry and the private sector in Jordan. An Arabian company has been established in Jordan to manufacture gypsum products. Due to a high demand in the Arab countries and international markets for a quality plaster, the production of this material is highly required, therefore investors are encouraged to consider investing in the further exploration of this mineral.
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Laws and Regulations
The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources is the main regulator and instigator of most of the mining activities in the country.
The Mining Regulation (No. 131 of 1966) contains prescribed standards for mining, including employment conditions; Civil Code (No.43 1976) contains provisions relevant to ownership of minerals; Environmental Protection Law (No. 1 2003): governs Environmental Impact Assessments for mining activities. Natural Resources Affairs Law (No. 12 1968) and amendments for regulating Natural Resources Affairs then developed the Natural Resources Authority (NRA), which is the governmental body responsible for issuing licenses, conducting geological and economic studies for mineral resources, and supervising technical issues for mining projects, this law covers matters pertaining to mining affairs in Jordan.
Licences are issued in Jordan based on a concessions system. The NRA was dissolved in 2014 and all laws and regulation governing the mining sector became the responsibility of the Energy and Minerals Regulation Commission.
Since the 1960's the mining law in Jordan has remained constant, with some exceptions of limited regulations that have been modified over the last 10 years. It is therefore due an overhaul sometime in the near future.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON MINING REGULATION THE TRANSLATION OF LAW NO. (12) FOR THE ORGANISATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES AFFAIRS LAW CAN BE DOWNLOADED FROM THE DATA TAB OF THIS PAGE.
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