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Geological and Mineral Activities In Yemen During The Period 1978-1998
The developments witnessed in Yemen during the last twenty years, within the contemporary history of the Republic, represented a distinguishing period of time. Exploitations and extractions of petroleum minerals are considered; among others; part of the components achieved during thes historical phases. Respectively, undertaking geological surveillance of the Yemeni territory has also been witnessed a scientific curriculum being adopted to study the globe on which we all live today.
Through a report published by the "Yemeni Public Corporation For Mineral Resources & Geological Surveying", the analysis covered a period of twenty years. It involved establishment and development of the Corporation's sectors that were entrusted to execute various geological studies incorporated within the framework extensions of the projects.
These have either been self-financed by the state, or implemented with the mutual co-operation of both the friendly countries and UNDP's international assistance schemes.
This report indicated that geological, geo-physiological , hydrological and topographic maps of various measurements have been processed. Besides, there were information on the efforts of excavating and exploring the mineral resources on one hand, and the set-up of various studies on the underground water beds and/ or basins located all over the Republic on the other.
This data , or, information made available today on the Yemeni territory does not only represent a basis and reference of the important scientific and technical aspects but also assures every Yemeni citizen of the existence of large-scaled potentials that could positively contribute towards constructing our national economy. All projects implemented during the last twenty years largely assisted in identifying those regions that possess stone-crystalline metals of economically-marketable values. Among such are the gold in Madan valley of Hadramout province; and zinc, lead and copper in Al-Jabali territory of Nahm district (Sana'a province).
Further more, the report indicated that the findings realized through these activities attracted the attention of several foreign firms. These have by now been established in Yemen to operate in the research and exploration of minerals. Five of these firms had been mentioned by the report in the following consequence:
1-Canadian Monte'an Corporation:-
For the first phase of their investment-project, this Canadian enterprise had been granted a license for excavating the metallization of gold and others within the boundary of the northern-west regions of the Republic (Hajja, Sa'ada and Al-Jawf provinces). The second licence of two-years' duration was also granted to it in August 1998 by the government of Yemen for the purpose of mineral exploration in the same territory above-mentioned, but within the covering range of an area extending up to 42 thousand square Kilometers.
The information so far been published by the Corporation confirmed the availability of gold in the districts of Al-Hareeqa and Bani-Waheeb located in the provice of Hajja. It is also expected from it to undertake soon a digging-operation project for the purpose of estimating the natural amount of reserves of the gold metal deposited in such regions.
2-Mineralco of Anglo-American Corporation:
Being a subsidiary of the Auglo-American Corporation known internationally in the sphere of metallizaiton, this firm had been granted for its first three individual licenses to operate as follows:
Activities of mineral exploration in and around Al-Jabali territory of Nahm (Sana'a province); Tabaq region of shabwa province; and Amssara region of Abyan. In all three cases, the exploration spheres were related to the metallization of zinc, lead and copper. An additional permit was granted on 16/6/97. It respectively was related to the official undertaking of the firm's phase II for metal exploring in Al-Jabali region (within a total area of 1058 square Kilometers) and Tabaq of Shabwa (within another 1212 square Kilomters). The firm achieved positive results in the discovery of these forms of metals in the territory of Hillan, which is geographical, related to Al-Jabali's location specified by the issued license. The digging works have already started last February 1998 in both Al-Jabali and Tabaq territories for assessment of the reserve quantities being under ground.
3-Odessif Resources Corporation:
It is another Canadian enterprise that had been granted in May 1996 a licence for purposes of officially undertaking excavation works on the western highlands of Yemen for exploration and mining of gold and other metals, and within an estimated area of 45,000 square kilometers.
Another licence on 6/7/1997 was also granted to the firm for gold exploration only, but in waraqa territory of Dhammar province, and covering a square area of 200 kilometer, with adepth of 60 square kilometer underneath the soil surface. The real achievements shall be hopefully expected to appear next year.
4-Me'anora' Canadian Enterprise ltd.:
licenses were granted as from 27/2/1996 for this Canadian firm by the government of Yemen for exploration and assessment of gold metallization in the Madan valley and other relatively associated districts. The area granted by these other licences covers a total of approximately 340 square kilometers located in Hadramout province.
it is expected from this enterprice to undertake all necessary geo-physiological works in the aspects of the gold metallization and estimation of its reserves underneath the mining surface of the soils related to the Madan valley and other associated, or near-by, locations, as from the beginning of 1998.
5- The Australian Felix Company:
on 2/2/ 1997, the government of Yemen issued a permit in favour of this Australian firm for excavation, exploration and mining of the metallizaiton features of copper, nickel and other minerals expected to be found within an area of 2010 square kilometers of Al-Hamoura in Taiz province. it was the same area several years ago was granted for exploration by a Romanian company.
The technical adviser of the Australian firm indicated that the completed geological studies, together with the available satellite photography materials upon interpretation, helped them a lot in asserting their expectation about Al-Hamoura of identifying the various geological phenomena and positively-located mineral and metallic deposits of nickel and copper. However, the final results of their studies shall be ready around the end of 1999, but meanwhile the future is to be definitely considered promising as to the exploitation of these valuable minerals and rocks in Yemen.
In the meantime, the Public Corporation here in Yemen had since the early seventies established a number of technical laboratories in the Republic for facilitating at least part of the activities of research and exploration undertaken by these firms while operating in Yemen.
Source: "Economic" bulletin of Saba News Agency- Bi-monthly issue No.115 of 31/7/98.