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Morocco targets $1.7 bln in non-phosphate mining revenue by 2030

Kitco News

RABAT, June 21 (Reuters) - Morocco plans to raise revenue from non-phosphate mining to more than 15 billion dirhams ($1.7 billion) by 2030 from 6.5 billion dirhams in 2020 by facilitating investments and tax incentives.

With 72% of global reserves, Morocco is the world's largest phosphates exporter and last year its state-owned phosphates company OCP reported revenue of 56.1 billion dirhams. The Moroccan energy and mining ministry said on Monday in its 2025-2030 mining development plan that it is also aiming for a tenfold increase in investment in mine prospecting and research to 4 billion dirhams.

It did not say which minerals it would target, but Energy and Mining Minister Aziz Rebbah told a news conference that the government would put particular focus on "strategic metals" such as those used in the renewable energy sector.

Morocco is a major producer of renewable energy but also relies on gas imports, including through a pipeline running from natural gas producer Algeria through Morocco to Spain.

However, it is at odds with Algeria over the Western Sahara and has recently had a dispute with Spain.

Rebbah declined to answer a question on whether Rabat planned to renew the pipeline deal, which expires in November, but said the pipeline was "strategic" to Morocco's gas supply.

(Reporting by Ahmed Eljechtimi; Editing by Angus Mcdowall and Alexander Smith)

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