Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/16/2014 -- We expect to see strong growth in the mining sector of the Middle East and North Africa over the coming years. With low base effects, governmental will to increase non-oil revenues and significant resources it appears the region is set for strong growth. We highlight Turkey and Northern Iraq as key areas for growth. That said, the region will remain peripheral in the global mining sector as it continues to underperform due to political instability in much of the region.
The key issue in the Middle East's mining sector presently is Iran's ongoing negotiations with Western powers. Our core scenario is for negotiations to continue and for limited sanctions relief to be rolled over until 2015. This will benefit the mining sector as it is one of the beneficiaries of an easing of sanctions. On the upside, if negotiations are successful (which we currently give a likelihood of 25%), it will be a game changer for the country's beleaguered mining industry and could make the country a key centre of global mining investment in the coming years.
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The key area for growth in the MENA region will be in gold. Although we are forecasting lower average gold prices over the coming quarters, we expect prices to remain elevated by historical standards. Given the relatively low cash costs for gold production, as well as low base effects, we expect to see substantial growth rates over the coming years.
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