Iraq Business News is attending the Iraq Mining 2011 conference in London on Wednesday and Thursday as Principal Media Sponsor, and it is exciting to see the wealth of opportunities available to investors in the non-oil resources sector.
Silica sand, marble, limestone, gypsum, dolomite, kaolin, glauberite and quartzite were just some of the minerals discussed, while metals such as gold and lead may be present in Iraqi Kurdistan and Anbar.
A key point is that Iraq is the only country to have abundant reserves of all four of the main requirements for agricultural fertiliser -- phosphates, sulphur, nitrates (urea and ammonia, from natural gas), and potash -- which are increasingly in demand in the developing world.
The Iraqi government is determined to capitalise on this potential as it attempts to reduce its dependency on the oil and gas industry. Seizing the opportunity for a pun, Dr Sami al-Araji, Chairman of the National Investment Commission (NIC) told delegates, "we will leave no stone unturned until Iraq reaches its full potential".
Over the coming days Iraq Business News will bring you interviews with leading Iraqi officials attending the conference.