EghtesadOnline: The Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade's review of the current Iranian year’s first six months (March 21-Sept. 22) show the output of six mineral products (out of 11 under review) registered growth compared with the similar period of last year.
A total of 267,200 tons of pure aluminum ingots were produced during the period, up 28.3% compared with the corresponding period of last year.
Sheet glass production rose by 25.4% YOY to more than 658,200 tons.
The production of porcelain dishes increased by 17.2% YOY to 29,900 tons while tile and ceramic output hit 221.29 million square meters, experiencing a 5.7% YOY increase.
While the production of copper cathode stood at 150,700 tons, registering a YOY increase of 3.7%, that of glass dishes exceeded 362,800 tons, showing a YOY increase of 0.5%.
The output of the following products declined during the period: Steel products and cement stood at 12.18 million tons and 32.59 million tons respectively, down 9% and 8.5% respectively YOY, crude steel production hit 13.11 million tons, indicating a 7.9% decrease year-on-year, coal concentrate production was at 724 tons, down by 6% YOY and that of alumina dipped by 4.6% to 116,100 tons.
A monthly review of the ministry shows te output of eight mineral products (out of 11 under review) registered growth in the sixth month of the current fiscal year (Aug 23-Sept. 22) compared to the preceding month.
Crude steel production hit 2.16 million tons, indicating a 60.1% growth compared with the previous month.
Production of copper cathode reached 28,900 tons, up 38.1% month-on-month.
The production of steel products reached 2.19 million tons, up 35.1% MOM.
Cement output increased by 24.7% MOM to 6.02 million tons and that of tile and ceramic stood at 38.72 million square meters, experiencing a 15.1% MOM growth.
Sheet glass production grew by 4.1% to stand at 109,300 tons while that of porcelain dishes increased by 3.9% MOM to 5,300 tons during the period.
The output of following products declined during the month: coal concentrate production registered a 16.2% MOM decrease to about 109,300 tons, alumina output hit 19,700 tons, registering a month-on-month decrease of 6.4% and glass dishes reached 57,000 tons, down by 1.4% MOM.
Metallic Mineral Exports Earn $5.5b in H1
A total of 9.4 million tons of metallic mineral products worth $5.5 billion were exported in the H1 fiscal 2021-22, registering a 61% and 147% year-on-year growth in tonnage and value respectively, according to Elaheh Mokri, an official with the Iranian Mines and Industries Development and Renovation Organization.
“Among the exported products, sanitary valves showed a decline while iron and copper ore and concentrate, steel ingots, ferroalloy, direct-reduced iron, flat and long steel products, pipes and steel profiles, as well as aluminum, lead and zinc ingots registered growth compared with the first six months of the previous fiscal year,” she was quoted as saying by ILNA.
According to the official, the most valuable exported products included copper cathode with an average price of $9,561 per ton, sanitary valves with $7,000, zinc ingots with $2,948, aluminum ingots with $2,415 per ton and lead ingots with an average price of $2,294 per ton.
Iran’s export of mineral products stood at 55 million tons worth $7.6 billion in the last fiscal year (ended March 2021) to register a 21% and 11% year-on-year decline in total volume and value respectively.
According to IMIDRO, steel topped the list of exports in terms of value with $4.1 billion and was followed by copper with $958 million and cement with $758 million.
In terms of tonnage, cement had the largest share with 24.3 million tons, followed by steel with 9.69 million tons.
Alumina powder exports saw the biggest jump in terms of value (335% YOY) to reach $1.8 million, followed by aluminum products with $321 million (up 177% YOY).
Imports stood at 4.15 million tons worth $3.4 billion in the fiscal 2020-21, indicating a 13% increase in tonnage and a 6% growth in value compared with the year before.
Steel also topped the list of mineral imports in terms of value with $1.3 billion, followed by coal and coke with $300 million and aluminum products with $290 million.
The value of steel products’ imports saw the biggest jump of 39% YOY to $1.37 billion.
Mineral Diversity, Reserves
Iran is home to 81 types of minerals with reserves totaling 37-40 billion tons, according to Alireza Shahidi, the head of Geological Survey and Mineral Exploration of Iran.
“Construction materials, including gravel, rubble stones, sand and different types of stones, account for 62% of Iran’s mineral reserves, metal minerals constitute 10-15% of total reserves and the rest are non-metallic minerals,” he said.
“Gold reserves are increasing on a daily basis. Recently, new mines have been identified in South Khorasan Province, the reserves of which, we hope, should help increase the country’s mineral wealth to 100 billion tons.”
Shahidi noted that up until 2015, the level of exploration and investment were in tandem, now a wide gap has opened up between the two, suggesting that the costs of exploration are on the rise, IRNA reported.
He added that a total of 945,000 kilometers of land in Iran underwent exploration operations in the 2000s.
“The country’s mines are mostly close to the surface; [the exploitation of] hidden mineral reserves in the depths of the earth need to increase,” he said.
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.