Abundance of natural resources
Mining and processing in Jordan is mainly non-metallic minerals of which phosphate and potash are internationally significant industries. The products from extraction of potash and mining of phosphate are increasingly being transformed into chemicals and exported.
Jordan possesses significant mineral resources that are or could be the basis for several downstream chemical industry clusters: phosphate, potash, silica, and uranium, and copper among others.
Mineral extraction industries also include calcium carbonate (for cement manufacture), building stones (e.g. traventine) and ornamental stones such as granite and marble, silica (for glass making etc…) and many more. Numerous minerals have been found in Jordan. Some are abundant (oil shale and basalt), while others pose a huge market potential for finding commercial reserves.
Mineral manufacturing industries include: fertilizers, chemical acids, cement, ceramic, cosmetics, rock wool and lime and silicate bricks. The main industries within this part are: fertilizers and chemical acids.
Several high value metals have high market potential– notably: uranium, tin, copper,& nickel. When both market and resource considerations are combined, the most likely minerals for investment and development are uranium and copper. Others, such as zircon are considered to have some commercial potential while others such as tin have only been discovered as trace amounts.
Oil shale is one of the most abundant resources in Jordan (over 50 billion tons of geological reserves).
Several of the mineral deposits have high levels of purity that facilitate processing to high value added products.
Cost-Competitive location for mineral extraction and manufacturing
- Proximity to markets especially to Asia and GCC
- Improving internal transport and port facilities strengthens Jordan’s cost competitiveness.
Strong and rapidly developing sector in Jordan: 428 million USD in 2007 (42% increase from the 2006)
Large, skilled labor pool
- Around 7000 employees in mining and quarrying
- 4,300 engineers, 1300 Natural Sciences graduated in 2007
- 28,000 engineers, 11,000 on Natural Sciences enrolled in 2007
Strong Regulatory Environment
Foreigners can invest in mineral resources under special agreements and own up to 100% of mining projects. Investors receive legal title and rights for exploration, mining, and commercial exploitation for the duration of their projects.
Companies are free to assign their interests and assets in projects for financing purposes; free to market the products mined without restriction.
Companies are free to conduct their commercial operations according to development plans, subject only to normal environmental and safety regulations.
Environmental Regulations are comparable to international best practice.
- Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (www.memr.gov.jo/)
- Natural Resources Authority (www.nra.gov.jo)
GDP contribution (%): 3%
Exports: 253.5 million (7% average annual growth in the past 5 years)
Cumulative Employment: Around 7,000
Major Players: Presence of several international extraction and production companies such Canpotex (Canada) and International Potash Co. (Russia), APC (Jordan), Shell (British), La Farge (France), and many more.