EghtesadOnline: Export of three strategic minerals, namely iron ore, copper and gold, in their raw form will be banned by the end of the first half of the next Iranian year (August 22, 2017), the head of Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization said.
As for iron ore, the ongoing construction of new sponge iron production plants and iron ore processing units will substantially boost domestic demand for the steelmaking material, according to the official.
“Raw iron ore will no longer be exported by then, as Iran’s iron ore output will be used to meet domestic demand,” said Mehdi Karbasian, who is also deputy minister of industries, mining and trade.
Plans are also underway for Iran’s copper reserves to be put to exclusive domestic use as a range of copper smelting, beneficiation, concentration, processing and industrial infrastructure projects are currently being implemented to expand the sector’s production capacity.
In 2015, National Iranian Copper Industries Company added about 300,000 tons per year to its total copper concentrate production capacity by commissioning two ore beneficiation units.
IMIDRO’s primary area of concern regarding gold has so far been expansion of explorations to add to proven reserves of the precious mineral. However, according to Karbasian, “investments will be made for the development of gold processing plants,” which will increase domestic demand for the mineral.
IMIDRO’s most significant achievement in explorations in the gold sector was the discovery of about 1 million tons of gold reserves in Mouteh Gold Mine back in late June.
Mouteh is home to 1.2 million tons of proven gold reserves with a grade of 4 grams per ton. Iran’s first exploited deposit of the precious mineral, Mouteh Gold Mine, is located in Meymeh County in Isfahan Province.