EghtesadOnline: The Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade's review of the current Iranian year’s first seven months (March 21-Oct. 22) shows the output of six mineral products (out of 11 under review) registered growth compared with the similar period of last year.
A total of 312,000 tons of pure aluminum ingots were produced during the period, up 26.7% compared with the corresponding period of last year.
Sheet glass production rose by 23% YOY to more than 776,400 tons.
The production of porcelain dishes increased by 14.5% YOY to 35,200 tons while the production of copper cathode stood at 176,300 tons, registering a YOY increase of 4.4%.
While tile and ceramic output hit 260.21 million square meters, experiencing a 4.3% YOY increase, that of glass dishes exceeded 424,000 tons, showing a YOY increase of 0.8%.
The output of the following products declined during the period: Coal concentrate production was at 815,800 tons, down by 11.3% YOY, cement and steel products stood at 38.5 million tons and 14.3 million tons respectively, down 9.1% and 8.1% respectively YOY, crude steel production hit 15.889 million tons, indicating a 4.9% decrease year-on-year, and that of alumina dipped by 2% to 136,500 tons.
A monthly review of the ministry shows the output of five mineral products (out of 11 under review) registered growth in the seventh month of the current fiscal year (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) compared to the preceding month.
Crude steel production hit 2.78 million tons, indicating a 28.9% growth compared with the previous month.
Sheet glass production grew by 7.6% to stand at 118,200 tons while that of glass dishes increased by 4.1% MOM to 4,100 tons during the period.
Alumina output hit 20,400 tons, registering a month-on-month increase of 3.7%
Pure aluminum ingots’ production stood at 312,000 tons during the period, up 2.9% month-on-month.
The output of following products declined during the month: coal concentrate production registered a 16% MOM decrease to about 91,800 tons, the production of copper cathode reached 25,600 tons, down 11.3% month-on-month, cement output decreased by 9.3% MOM to 5.46 million tons and porcelain dishes’ output reached 5,000 tons, down by 5.5% MOM.
Mineral Diversity, Reserves
Iran is home to 81 types of minerals with reserves totaling 37-40 billion tons, said 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, but 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 square kilometers 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.