Completion of Projects and Attraction of Capital
We should increase national unity to leave the crisis behind and
move towards development, production and employment.
Deputy Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade and the Iranian Mines and Mining
Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO) Chief Executive
Officer said that $4.5 billion worth of mineral and mineral industries
projects were launched last Persian calendar year (ended March 20, 2018),
adding that $1.5 billion in new project will be inaugurated in the new year.
Dr. Mehdi Karbasian expressed hope that the new Persian year 1397
(2018/2019) will be a year of economic opening for the people. He also said
he was relatively happy with the record last year of the mining and mining
industries. He said the mining sector experienced output growth, more
exports, productivity and investment in the previous year. He added that
the growth in the mining sector had been noted by the Supreme Leader and the
President in their remarks last year. Among the projects commissioned by the
President and first VP last year, there were a number of projects
commissioned by IMIDRO or those backed by the organization to overcome their
New Project worth 320 Trillion Rials
The IMIDRO CEO said the balance in steel output faced problems in 1392
(2013/2014), but in 1396 (2017/2018) the capacities were increased in
pellets sector, concentrates and sponge iron. He said about 700,000 tons of
sponge iron had been exported last year and hoped that in 1397 this balance
will get closer to the 55 million target. He said at the beginning of the
11th government in 1392, we had half-finished and unfinished projects worth
240 trillion rials. We attracted 80 trillion rials from the private sector
to activate all the projects. Also, in 1396, new projects worth 320 trillion
rials were started or were activated in the mining and mining industries
According to Karbasian, in the steel sector, three provincial sponge iron
projects were commissioned during 1396. With the follow-ups of the National
Steel Company, the steel sector of the projects will also go on stream.
I am confident that we will have a good year in 1397 with the
grace of God and the management of our colleagues, a year of
dignity and pride of Iran.
As for gold production, he said there has been some improvement in
Zarshouran gold mine and expressed hope that other deficiencies would be
removed in the current year. Also in Muteh complex, gold production
increased from about 200 kg to 600 kg.
He added that in the aluminum sector the problems we faced in 1395
(2016/2017) remained unresolved. “We could not get our dues for the sale of
Almahdi Hormozal Company. We also had liquidity problem with IRALCO but the
South Aluminum project continued strongly and we forecast get output in the
second half of the current calendar year and raise the country’s aluminum
capacity to over 700,000 tons.”
Karbasian stated: “In the copper sector, we had some progress. Following
interactions with the creditable company, Glencore, the company extended
credits to us and this helped the copper company to make profit and
commission some of its projects. Others will be inaugurated this year.
Glencore plc. is an Anglo–Swiss multinational commodity trading and mining
company with headquarters in Baar, Switzerland.
He said in 1396, the titanium project was activated after many years. The
Parsian-Lamerd special zone project also entered the construction phase and
the first phase of the project is expected to become operational in the
current year. Among other active projects of the calendar year 1397 mention
can be made of rare earth elements.
Pointing to the special support for in-depth explorations as one of the
priorities of IMIDRO in 1397, Karbasian said: “An important point we noticed
in the 250,000 square kilometer exploration program is that there are almost
no large mines on the ground-level, and we need to correct the path of
exploration and we have to invest in underground mines.
Mineral explorations are currently underway in areas spanning over 250,000
square kilometers in Sistan and Baluchestan, Kerman and Kurdestan provinces
with the private sector undertaking exploration on more than 100,000 square
kilometers of the areas. Iran is home to around 10,000 mines, only 6,000 of
which are active. The country’s mineral reserves stand at 60 billion tons,
close to 40 billion tons of which are proven.
“By implementing upcoming plans we hope to discover new mines and reserves
and provide more production and employment opportunities. In 1396, the
exploration program continued with strength, and by the end of the current
year, 180,000 square kilometers of initial activities of this exploratory
program (aeronautical survey and geophysics) was carried out and was ready
to be ceded to the private sector.
IMIDRO CEO noted that with discoveries made in the iron ore of Yazd Province
and with excavations carried out at a depth of 1900 meters, we found
reserves of about two billion tons of high-grade iron ore, which suggests
that the country is rich in in-depth mines. He added that new deposits of
bauxite were taken from the existing mines in the Jajarm region. Along with
this, the record for alumina powder production was registered last year, and
the Jajarm Aluminum ingot project was progressing well.
Direct Export of 8 Million Tons of Steel
Noting that before the Iran Nuclear Deal (also known as the Joint
Comprehensive Plan of Action), most of the country’s exports abroad was done
through intermediaries and even by receiving commissions, Karbasian said:
“After the JCPOA our exports to Europe and the rest of the world were done
directly so that over the past year, more than 8 million tons of steel were
exported, including a part to Europe and even Canada.
He added: “One of the positive steps taken in mining and mineral industries
in 1396 that was a source of pride was that this sector was introduced in
the economic cycle, and investors who would not come forward made
investments in this sector and made 100 percent profit.
Registration of 20% Share of Mining & Mineral Sector from Exports
IMIDRO CEO said that mining and mineral industry exports reached $8.5
billion in the first 11 months of 1396, accounting for 20% of the country’s
total exports and about 5% to 6% of the GDP. In the steel chain, we had a
34% increase in exports in 1396 compared to 1395.
He added: “During 1396 in Sangan region, three projects were inaugurated and
this year two other projects will go on stream. The region’s employment rate
was less than a thousand in 1392, but now it has reached more than 4
thousand people, which has inspired hope in the youth of the region for the
Private Sector Investment Welcome!
Karbasian said IMIDRO was obliged to invest in places where the private
sector had the capability to invest. He added: “We are obliged to enter the
field where the private sector is less likely to invest. For example, we
open LCs for Parvardeh 4 project in Tabas so that we could cede it if the
investor shows interest.
“Another goal is to complete half-finished projects at a faster pace, with a
suitable timetable in order to reduce the costs, and this is among our
IMIDRO CEO considered the issue of environmental safety as one of the
priorities of his organization and noted that in 1396, the organization’s
status was good in this area. For example, in Mehdiabad mine, along with the
implementation of the project, the animal environment was also heeded which
led to an increase in birth rate in wildlife.
Need to Increase National Unity
At the end, Karbasian thanked the nuclear negotiating team, stating that we
should accept that in 1397 foreign pressure would not decrease. “We should
increase national unity to leave the crisis behind and move towards
development, production and employment. Our national, religious and moral
duty as IMIDRO is to do our job properly, increase productivity, raise
production and reduce costs… I am confident that we will have a good year in
1397 with the grace of God and the management of our colleagues, a year of
dignity and pride of Iran.”