Syria reports diamond reserves
Syria is sitting on diamond reserves that could be commercially exploited, a Syrian official was quoted as saying Tuesday, while inviting the domestic and foreign private sector to invest.
"Exploration work was stepped up in 1997 and showed there were deposits of diamonds in Syria," said Talal Ballani, general manager of the geology department at the oil and natural resources ministry, quoted by the Syria Times daily.
"Tests are still being made to determine the feasibility" of commercial mining, he added. He called on the private sector at home and abroad to invest in the extraction of diamonds and other natural mineral wealth in Syria, including "huge deposits of phosphate, natural zeolite, quartz sands, natural asphalt rocks and volcanic tuff."
”All these sectors are open for private investments and we welcome the local, Arab and foreign investors, he said, adding that "those who invest could get many incentives including a seven-year tax holiday."
The Syrian government in 1991 opened up several public sectors that had previously been restricted to the state to investment from the private sector, including the extraction of minerals. — (AFP, Damascus)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)