EghtesadOnline: Iran has been reducing the export of iron ore in the past few years in line with plans to curb the export of unprocessed minerals and encourage the mining industry to create added value, Deputy Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade Dariush Esmaeili said.
“Some 6 million tons of iron ore were exported from Iran during the last fiscal year [ended March 19, 2020], which constituted a meager 6.7% share of the country’s 90-million-ton annual output,” he was quoted as saying by IRIB News.
The country exported less than 500,000 tons of iron ore during the first quarter of the current Iranian year [March 20-June 20], he added.
Data released by the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization show that a total of 17 million tons of iron ore were exported from Iran during the year ending March 2019.
According to Esmaeili, Iran’s iron ore exports stood at around 20 million tons per annum about a decade ago.
In a bid to prevent the export of unprocessed minerals and meet the requirements of domestic producers for raw materials, Iran has levied 20-25% duty on the export of raw minerals since September 23, 2019.
Iron ore has been at the forefront of the new restrictive measure, as experts warn Iran is facing a shortage of iron ore to feed its steel industries in the near future.
Exports of iron ore concentrates and pellets have seen 25% duties.
Iran accounts for about 3% of global iron ore reserves estimated at 4.5 billion tons with over 200 ore deposits.
Latest data show close to 7.96 million tons of iron ore concentrates were produced in Iran during the first two months of the current fiscal year (March 20-May 20) to register a 2% decrease compared with the corresponding period of the year before.
Golgohar Mining and Industrial Complex accounted for 2.52 million tons of the total output (down 10% YOY), followed by Chadormalu Mining and Industrial Complex with 1.74 million tons (down 6% YOY), Middle East Mines and Mining Industries Development Holding Company with 1.2 million tons (up 28% YOY), Goharzamin Iron Ore Company with 770,118 tons (up 5% YOY), Iran Central Iron Ore Company with 644,115 tons (down 18% YOY), Opal Parsian Sangan with 420,490 tons (down 14% YOY), National Development Industrial and Mineral Co. with 385,295 tons (down 27% YOY), Sabanour Mining and Industrial Development Company with 181,072 tons (up 84% YOY) and Jalalabad Iron Ore Complex with 92,963 tons (up 25% YOY).
A total of 7.15 million tons of iron ore pellets were produced during the same period, registering a 1% year-on-year decline.
Golgohar was the largest producer with 2.05 million tons (down 1% YOY), followed by Mobarakeh Steel Company with 1.25 million tons (down 5%), MIDHCO with 1.1 million tons, posting no significant change YOY, Khouzestan Steel Company with 896,116 (down 17% YOY), Opal Parsian Sangan with 547,339 tons (down 12% YOY), Chadormalu with 525,870 tons (down 25% YOY), Sangan Mineral and Industrial Company with 456,441 tons (up 113% YOY), Khorasan Steel Company with 223,815 tons (up 215% YOY), Sabanour with 75,964 tons (up 31% YOY) and Mining and Industrial Development Company with 27,180 tons.
Two iron ore processing units, namely Sangan Iron Ore Concentrate Plant and Sanabad Pellet Plant both located in city of Sangan, in Khaf County of northeastern Khorasan Razavi Province, were inaugurated on June 11, by President Hassan Rouhani via videoconferencing.
The first phase of Sangan Mineral and Industrial Company’s Sangan Concentrate Plant has a capacity of 5 million tons of iron ore concentrates per year. This plant has created 500 direct jobs.
As the Managing Director of Sangan Mineral and Industrial Company (known as SIMIDCO) Ali Emraei told ILNA, 38 trillion rials (about $200 million) have been invested in this project.
Sanabad Tose'e Faragir Industrial and Mineral Company’s Pellet Plant has a production capacity of 2.5 million tons annually, Mehr News Agency reported.
Developed by National Development Industrial and Mineral Company, 13 trillion rials ($68 million) have been invested in this project. It has created 200 direct jobs.
The two projects were inaugurated via videoconferencing at the site of Sanabad Tose'e Faragir Industrial and Mineral Company.
"The development and inauguration of projects across the country are continuing, despite harsh sanctions and pressure on Iranian economy," President Rouhani said during the inauguration ceremony.