EghtesadOnline: The Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran is going to sign a contract with the private sector on Tuesday for the construction of Iran's biggest mechanized mineral terminal at Shahid Rajaee Port, the deputy head of PMO announced on Monday.
Ali Hassanzadeh added that the contract is worth 50 trillion rials (over $430 million).
The terminal’s capacity will reach 50 million tons per year upon the completion of the project, which will be carried out in three phases, covering 180 hectares of land, each spread over 60 hectares, according to Financial Tribune.
It will be the biggest mineral terminal in the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman, and mark a major development in Iran's mining industry, considering its considerable mineral capacity, Mehr News Agency reported.
He explained that mines across the country will be directly connected to the terminal through a railroad, and the terminal will be used for both exports and imports.
The official urged industry players to exploit the advantages of Shahid Rajaee Port Special Economic Zone, adding that they can set up businesses there to generate products with higher value-added, or they can establish factories to turn raw minerals into intermediate products for export.
Located 23 kilometers west of the port city of Bandar Abbas, the capital of Hormozgan Province, Shahid Rajaee Port is Iran’s biggest container port.
Over half of Iran’s commercial trading is carried out at Shahid Rajaee. The port complex also accounts for over 85% of all container throughput in the country.
According to Mohammad Reza Rezaei-Kouchi, the head of Majlis Development Commission, Shahid Rajaee Port has a 6% share in the region’s total container throughput per annum, ILNA reported.
Noting that the terminal will be used for the export of mineral products, Hassanzadeh said it will help reduce the end prices of exported commodities and improve Iran's competitiveness in foreign markets.
“The terminal will be used for importing minerals with higher value-added. These products will in turn be used in domestic market or reexported to other countries,” he added.
In May 2018, Life Trade Promotion Company signed an agreement with Sistan-Baluchestan Ports and Maritime Organization to establish Iran’s first fully mechanized mineral export terminal in Chabahar’s Shahid Beheshti Port.
The terminal, with a mineral export capacity of 15 million tons per year, is to come on stream in two years as of the signing of the agreement with an investment of 2.8 trillion rials ($24.56 million).
According to LTP's Managing Director Mohammad Arazesh, the new “smart” terminal would be able to accommodate 100,000-ton cargo ships and vessels.
Iran is home to nearly 10,000 mines, only 6,000 of which are active. The country’s mineral reserves stand at 60 billion tons, close to 40 billion tons of which are proven.
The country is also home to 68 types of minerals with more than 37 billion tons of proven reserves and 57 billion tons of potential reserves.
According to the United States Geological Survey, Iran holds the world's largest zinc, ninth largest copper, 10th largest iron ore, fifth largest gypsum and barite, and 10th largest uranium reserves.
Iran accounts for more than 7% of global mineral reserves.
According to Deputy Industries Minister Khodadad Gharibpour, the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization is pursuing plans to expand mineral explorations to cover 300,000 square kilometers by the end of the second term of President Hassan Rouhani (August 2021).
IMIDRO carried out exploration over 270,000 square kilometers during President Hassan Rouhani's first term in office (Aug. 2013-17).
According to Gharibpour, who doubles as president of IMIDRO, half of Iran’s 600,000-square kilometers of exploratory area has been explored for mineral reserves.
According to Deputy Industries Minister Jafar Sarqeini, 460 million tons of minerals were produced in the last Iranian year (ended March 20, 2019).
The current fiscal year's target is 550 million tons.
Sarqeini has stressed the need to explore and discover new reserves as, considering the current state of proven mineral reserves, Iran’s mineral reserves will only last until the fiscal 2030-31.