EghtesadOnline: A total of 309 mining projects became operational during the first half of the current Iranian year (March 20-Sept. 21), registering a 7.7% growth compared with the same period of last year.
Latest statistics released by the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade show a total of 472 exploration permission were issued in H1, showing an 8% rise compared with the same period of last year, IRNA reported.
Iran’s mineral reserves currently stand at 55 billion tons, about 37 billion tons of which are proven. New explorations are expected to increase the figure by 30% to 60 billion tons by the end of the current fiscal year (March 2021).
A total of 15.69 million tons of mineral products worth $2.17 billion were exported from Iran in the first five months of the current fiscal year (March 20-Aug. 21).
Steel topped the list of exports in terms of value with $1.11 billion. It was followed by copper with $334.12 million and cement with $120.98 million. In terms of tonnage, cement had the lion’s share with 5.7 million tons, followed by steel with 3 million tons.
Some 410 million tons of minerals were extracted from Iranian mines in the last Iranian year (ended March 19, 2020).
A total of 147 small-sized mining units were revived during the first six months of the current year.
Abbas Naeimi, vice president of the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization, says IMIDRO plans to revive 672 inactive mining units by the fiscal yearend.
"Since the beginning of last year and as part of a plan to help inactive mining units resume operation, 2,800 mining units were identified and prioritized," he said.
"Nearly 293 small-sized mines have resumed operations since the beginning of the previous fiscal year [March 2019]."
An agreement was recently signed between the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade, Bank of Industry and Mine, and Mining Investment Insurance Corporation, based on which loans worth 6 trillion rials ($21.5 million) will be extended to help revive inactive mines across Iran.
The Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade has issued operational licenses for more than 10,500 mines, 4,500 of which are reportedly inactive.
The ministry is working closely with the Economy Ministry and the Central Bank of Iran to help prop up inactive mining units, mainly to create more jobs and increase the country's non-oil exports.
What's more, IMIDRO and its affiliated organizations have signed 219 research and development agreements with universities since the last Iranian year (started March 2019).
The agreements are collectively worth 858 billion rials ($3 million).
IMIDRO signed 36 deals worth 142 billion rials ($500,000) with the University of Tehran, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran University of Science and Technology, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tarbiat Modares University, Shahid Beheshti University, Isfahan University of Technology, Academic Center for Education, Culture and Research and the Iranian Society of Mining Engineering.
Mobarakeh Steel Company, Golgohar Mining and Industrial Company, Sarcheshmeh Copper Investment Company, Esfahan Steel Company and Iran Minerals Production and Supply Company have respectively signed 53, 30, 28, 16 and 12 deals with academic entities.
As a major state-owned holding company, IMIDRO has eight major companies and 55 subsidiaries involved in the steel, aluminum, copper, cement and mineral sectors.