EghtesadOnline: The Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO) has released a new report on the sales of 72 heavyweight Tehran Stock Exchange-listed mining and mineral companies.
According to the report, the aggregate sales volume of the firms under review stood at 388.43 trillion rials ($1.94 billion) during the first two months of the current fiscal year (March 20-May 20) to register a 55% rise compared with last year's corresponding period.
Their sales volume during the second month of the year (April 20-May 20) stood at 181.94 trillion rials ($909.7 million) to witness a 79% rise compared with a month before.
The mining and mineral firms constituted a 37% share of the total sales volume of all TSE-listed firms during the two-month period.
The highest sales volume among the mining and mineral firms under review were Mobarakeh Steel Company (the biggest steelmaker in Iran and the Middle East and North Africa region, accounting for about half of the country's steel production) and National Iranian Copper Industry Company (leading copper producer in the MENA region with mines holding close to 14% of Asia’s copper deposits and about 3% of global reserves).
Other major firms with high sales volume included Golgohar Mining and Industrial Complex, Esfahan Steel Company, Chadormalu Steel Company, Hormozgan Steel Company, South Kaveh Steel Company, Khorasan Steel Company and Iran Aluminum Company.
Among Top 10 Countries in Mineral Reserves
Iran is among the top 10 countries in the world in terms of mineral reserves that currently stand at 50 billion tons, says Deputy Industries Minister Daryoush Esmaeili, adding that new explorations are expected to increase the figure by 20% to 60 billion tons by the end of the current fiscal year (March 2021).
The mines and mineral sector had a 25% share in Iran’s total non-oil exports in the last fiscal year (March 2019-20), he was quoted as saying by IRIB News.
Iran has the largest area under mineral exploration in the Middle East, according to Deputy Industries Minister Khodadad Gharibpour.
IMIDRO has been tasked with exploring 652,061 square kilometers for minerals in 30 Iranian provinces, says IMIDRO official, Mohammad Aqajanlou.
IMIDRO carried out exploration over 270,000 square kilometers during President Hassan Rouhani's first term in office (August 2013-17).
About 65% of Iran’s total explorable mineral areas (1 million kilometers) belong to the organization.
Ali Asgharzadeh, IMIDRO’s manager for exploration, says the highest volume of explorations in Iran pertains to copper, iron ore and coal.
Gharibpour, who is also the chairman of IMIDRO, noted that most mining explorations in Iran have been carried out at shallow depths, while excavating deeper would lead to a twofold increase in the discovery of mineral reserves.
Iran is 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.
Overall, Iran is home to more than 7% of global mineral reserves.
Gharibpour further said 31 mineral projects worth $2.27 billion will come on stream in the current fiscal year that started on March 20.
“The projects will create 4,113 direct jobs and 23,280 indirect jobs. More than $1 billion worth of the projects will be inaugurated by the private sector with IMIDRO’s support,” he told IRNA.
A total of 470 million tons of minerals were extracted in Iran in the last fiscal year that ended on March 20, according to former industries minister, Reza Rahmani.
The figure, he added, is expected to exceed 500 million tons in the current fiscal year (March 2020-21).
According to Rahmani, metals will account for 35% of this year's projected figure, Mizan Online reported.
IMIDRO, including its subsidiaries, has a 30% share in the country’s mineral extraction.
According to Omid Emami, an IMIDRO official, the holding company owns and operates 15 mines while Iran Minerals Production and Supply Company owns 21.