Sep 17 2012
By Khaula al-Aukaili
Azzaman, September 17, 2012
Iraq has the world’s largest sulfur reserves estimated at 600 million tons, a statement by the Mishraq State Sulfur Mine said.
Iraqi sulfur riches were extensively developed in the decades before the U.N. imposed sanctions on the country in the aftermath of the 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
Exports of sulfur to international markets were booming and Iraq was self-sufficient in sulfur-related products.
But shortly after the 2003-U.S. invasion the site of Mishraq, about 45 kilometers south of the northern city of Mosul, was vandalized and the processed sulfur estimated at 21,000 tons set on fire, creating what was then believed to be the largest human-made release of sulfur dioxide.
The government has only recently turned its attention to revive the project.
Mishraq, the mining firm, is working to revive and develop the deposits.
The company has a deal with the U.S. Devco for a turn-key installation of a complete sulfur purification facility at a cost of $78.6 million.
The statement said the U.S. firm has dug five sulfur wells so far and the facility, once completed, will meet domestic needs for sulfur products with surplus for export to neighboring countries.