EghtesadOnline: Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization inaugurated 23 mineral projects worth $2.3 billion in collaboration with the private sector last fiscal year (March 2017-18), IMIDRO Chairman Mehdi Karbasian announced.
“The projects, mostly made up of iron processing plants, increased Iran’s pellet and concentrate production capacity by 10 million and 2.5 million tons to reach 48.2 and 51.9 million respectively,” Karbasian was quoted as saying by IRNA.
Three of the projects boosted Iran’s direct-reduced iron output capacity by about 1.6 million tons using an indigenous production technology called PERED, or Persian Reduction.
The technology is invented and patented by MME Company, an Iranian engineering company registered in Germany. It makes optimum use of energy and raw materials, reduces production costs with the added advantage of being more environment-friendly compared to other direct reduction methods, Financial Tribune reported.
“Miners produced close to 74.1 million tons of iron ore last year, registering a 14% year-on-year growth,” said Karbasian, who also doubles as deputy industries minister.
The government aims to increase crude steel output capacity to 55 million tons per year by 2025, as part of the goals set in the 20-Year Vision Plan (2005-25). In order to realize this goal, Iran must produce 154 million tons of iron ore and 80 million tons of concentrate every year post-2025, according to a study conducted by Foolad Technic International Engineering Company.
In addition to installing new capacity, the government needs to find new iron ore reserves to keep the industry going.
According to FIECO, Iran has 5 billion tons of estimated iron ore reserves and 3.1 billion tons of proven reserves. The available amount will suffice for the production of 55 million tons of steel, but reserves will only be able to feed the industry for 15 years.
Results of Iron ore exploration attempts have been less than stellar for now, as underfunding and private sector’s hesitance to enter exploration have hindered the process.