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September 2018, No. 88


IMIDRO Exclusive

IMIDRO
Five Years of
Brilliant Record!

First Step: Updating of the Strategic Plan

Formulating a strategy to avoid financial and managerial challenges and creating stability

At the beginning of the 11th government (under President Hassan Rouhani), with the presence of Dr. Mehdi Karbasian as CEO of IMIDRO (Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization), order was issued to formulate two strategies: One strategy for the six-month and one-year primary plan of the government, and one strategy for the government’s 4 to 5 year plan that was successfully implemented. These plans were designed to save IMIDRO from the challenges it is facing and to create stability at the organization.

IMIDRO succeeded in preventing dissolution of the National Iranian Steel Company, one of the country’s technical and engineering reserves, and persuading the privatization organization to maintain NISC. Furthermore, IMIDRO delegated the study of the comprehensive steel plan and the implementation of provincial and other steel projects to the NISCO.

IMIDRO also prevented transfer of shares of Iran Minerals Production and Supply Co (IMPASCO) to non-specialized sectors to maintain the company as its executive arm. It also resisted against the transfer of Iran Mineral Activities Insurance Investment Fund (MAIIF) to the private sector and prevented the occurrence of a bitter event for Iranian mines. The insurance fund is a sovereign activity, and, if transferred, one of the important and essential sources of support of the industry would be eliminated and it would deal a big blow on Iran’s mineral structure. By boosting the financial strength of the fund, IMIDRO multiplied its initial capital in order to meet the needs of the miners and activists of the mineral sector of Iran. The fund continued to play a significant role in the exploration, commissioning and employment of small and medium-sized mines in rural areas.

In line with the 2013 state of affairs, through direct negotiations, part of the previous IMIDRO claims was collected. Major mining companies using IMIDRO mines paid a portion of their payables. Underwriting companies also updated part of the previous debt and transferred funds to IMIDRO’s account. The delayed interests of the shares were also demanded and IMIDRO was ready to be redeveloped.

In the new plans, IMIDRO paid particular attention to the private sector, especially NGOs, large mining companies and investors, and used the sector’s elite in its decision makings. 

Formulating Strategies for Developing International Relations and Attracting Foreign Investors

Following this trend, and in 2015, order was issued for rewriting and updating of international development strategies and attracting foreign investors in the mining and mineral sector.

Four steps were taken in this direction. First, a letter was sent to Es’haq Jahangiri, First Vice President, to make the country competitive in attracting foreign investment. Then a special international strategy formulation working group was formed. More than 20 technical and specialized interviews were conducted with some experts with experience in attracting investors in the mining chain in order to identify the problem. Finally, the study of some successful countries in attracting foreign investment in the mining and mineral sector was put on the agenda.

In these studies, developed countries in mining field such as Canada, Australia and China, as well as developing countries that are more similar to Iran in terms of mineral structure, such as Chile, Peru and Kazakhstan, were also studied.

The project is still underway with the study of six neighboring countries so that Iran could provide better conditions for foreign investors.

During the past five years, IMIDRO has been engaged in technical and economic talks with companies from 35 countries and has signed memorandums of understanding with 15 countries, including France, Italy, Austria, China, South Korea, South Africa, India and the Czech Republic. 

Development of Mines and Mining Industries of Iran

At the beginning of the 11th government, IMIDRO was the heir of 47 unaccomplished projects. Of these 47 projects, 7 were active, 5 were semi-active and 35 were inactive. This situation was not good for a large corporation like IMIDRO, and it threatened its credibility. Thanks to the experience and guidance of Dr. Karbasian and the use of experienced experts in the organization, IMIDRO started a new era by revising the strategies, paying attention to resources and spending, and tweaking organizational structure without adjusting human capital. The season that IMIDRO regained stability and scientific decision making based on technical and economic justifications led to the development of the mining and mineral sector and the creation of sustainable employment. At this time, the expert committees regained their special status.

First, eight provincial steel projects were examined. One project was fully passed to the private sector. Thanks to initiatives, one approach was added to the procedures of financing IMIDRO projects. Seven other projects were announced for partnership, and the private-sector’s economic activists invested as IMIDRO partners. Thus steel projects were saved from crisis and continued business.

The project to produce alumina from Nepheline Syenite was in queue to be implemented for nearly three decades and was halted each time for some reasons. But finally, in December 2014, IMIDRO signed an agreement with Outotec Company for the initial design of the project. The substructure has been implemented, and in the near future, with an annual production of 200,000 tons of alumina powder and 150,000 tons of industrial salt, sustainable jobs will be created for our compatriots. Azarshahr pilot plant, which had been launched for trial production of Nepheline Syenite, changed application and was used to generate Boehmite, catalyst base and catalyst, and its investment was maintained.

The Southern Aluminum project became operational in January 2015. The project will be the largest aluminum production unit in the country. The land, gas and other infrastructures are ready and the project is being implemented at a suitable pace, and the first ingot will be marketed this November.

The contract for the completion of the first phase of the Jajarm aluminum ingot manufacturing plant with production capacity of 37 million tons was inked and the project progress is very favorable. The plant will start producing ingots from October 2018. The implementation of these two projects will boost Iran’s rank in the world’s aluminum production capacity by three steps, and will increase the capacity of aluminum production in Iran to 777,000 tons per year, despite halting operation of two lines in the Iranian Aluminium Co. (IRALCO) for environmental reasons.

One of the major projects that were retrieved during this period is Mehdiabad lead and zinc. This mine is one of the largest mines in the world that had been neglected. With careful planning and solving the problems with the previous investor and conducting a new call, businessmen from seven industrialized nations came to Tehran for investment in our mining industry. Eventually a credible and powerful domestic consortium succeeded in getting the project. This plan is considered to be one of the most successful examples of the Iranian contracts. The barite section of the mine began its operation in 2015. The project will produce 800,000 tons of zinc concentrate and 80,000 tons of lead and silver concentrates. With additional exploration, suitable copper deposits have been discovered that are undergoing expert examination. The complex will provide jobs for 3,000 people.

Some other valuable projects of this period which indicate a return to the right course, are as follows:

  • Project to produce graphite electrode, which is one of the bottlenecks in the steel industry of the country

  • Pilot project of Sefidabeh antimony, which has a highly strategic product, commissioned in 2014

  • Hormuz & Hormuzan Power Plant was built to supply electricity to the industries of the especial mineral and metal industries in the Persian Gulf, which was commissioned in August this year

  • Zarshouran gold mine (2014)

  • Khor & Biabanak Potash Complex

  • Qatran Zarand Refinery

  • Four concentrate and pelletizing projects in Sangan

  • Energy intensive special zone

  • Kahnuj titanium processing

  • Equipping Golgohar mines 4, 5, 6

  • Khamroud coal and Green Coke production

In 2013, due to problems created in the 10th government and severe financial bottlenecks in IMIDRO, no project went on stream. With the mobilization of facilities in 2014, eight projects with an investment of $1,025 million were commissioned. In 2015, 10 projects with an investment of $913 million became operational. In 1395 (2016/17) too, 18 projects with an investment of $1,480 million were launched. Meantime, with the growing strength of IMIDRO and the positive impacts of the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive plan of Action) on our economic relations, IMIDRO managed to launch 27 projects with an investment of $3,064 million in 2017. In 2018 too, 31 projects worth $5,890 million will become operational.

Following up on these activities, a large number of projects are underway including 24 projects with an investment of $5,750 million next year, 34 projects with an investment of $5,928 million in 2020 and 33 projects with a capital of $13,488 million in 2021 and the next year.

A total of 185 projects with an investment of 37.538 billion dollars in ore mining and mineral industries in Iran have been commissioned or will become operational which will provide sustainable and direct employment for 20,000 people and indirect employment for 40,000 people. 

Exploration in 270 Thousand Square Kilometers

With 68 types of minerals, Iran has 57 billion tons of known mineral reserves. But this amount is the result of discoveries that have been made over the past decades. According to the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade, explorations covered only 7% of Iran’s 1.648 million square kilometers. Also, the realization of Iran’s development goals in the areas of steel, copper, aluminum, zinc, gold, coal and ... requires new discoveries. As a result, since March 2014, with the mandate of IMIDRO, a large plan has been launched to implement new exploration projects aimed at investigating the potential of Iran’s 270,000 square kilometers of mineral resources.

The plan was started in coordination with the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade, IMIDRO and the Geological Survey and Mineral Explorations of Iran (GSI), which will be implemented by IMIDRO. According to the Parliament Act, IMIDRO is recognized as the main organization in mining and mineral industries, which has a developmental mission in this field. Meanwhile, the emphasis of the Supreme Leader on the development of the mining sector, along with the Resistance Economy, has caused this sector of the economy to draw more attention over the last few years. This is where exploratory activity is the starting point of any plan in mining.

The new exploration plan which is the basis for development of mining and downstream mining industries has been designed and implemented in the Rouhani government. IMIDRO’s exploration plan covers 270,000 square kilometers of the country, more than 2.5 times the number of discoveries in the past 80 years. This plan can play a role in the country’s balanced development, enhancing the role of mines in the national economy, and reducing reliance on oil revenues.

Iran is among top 15 countries of the world having diverse mineral potentials and precious metallic and nonmetallic reserves accounting for about 7% of global reserves. Due to its location on the Alp-Himalayas metallurgical and mineralization global belt, our country has the capability to be the first-tier leader of the Middle East and Central Asia in terms of mineral exploration, technology and investment in mining sector. Evidence to this claim is that Iran owns at least eight large world class mines. Therefore, the development of these resources and their exploitation will increase the competitiveness power of Iran internationally and will place the mining sector in the first position in employment and national income generation. At present, the ratio of discovered and exploitable reserves (57 billion tons) is small in comparison with the area and potentials of Iran.

With regard to IMIDRO’s developmental mission in the country, extensive exploratory plans have been designed to compensate for the historical backwardness of exploration in order to achieve the following objectives:

1. Discovering diverse new mineral resources for the development of the mining sector and increasing its share in gross national product

2. Providing a suitable platform for attracting domestic and foreign investment by preparing exploratory documentation in accordance with global standards

3. Exploration investments in unprivileged areas with mineral potentials for resource management, development, job creation and security in those areas

4. Creating a multi-product economy and taking steps in the direction of sustainable development and turning mines into one of the important economic sectors of the country

5. Discovering strategic metals and the supply of feedstock to the industries 

In line with this roadmap, extensive exploration activities in the country have been designed and implemented since 2014 based on the following priorities:

1. Deploying advanced heuristics such as aerial geophysical operations to discover hidden reserves

2. Exploitation operations in the form of zones with an area of ​​250,000 square kilometers on the eastern and western borders of the country and in deprived areas in order to create employment in less developed regions

3. Implementation of systematic discoveries based on the latest scientific achievements to access mineral reserves

4. To re-evaluate the available mining and mineral resources in accordance with international criteria and definitions with the aim of reducing the risk factor of investment and increasing the incentive for participation

5. Creation of diversity in exploration activities of minerals such as antimony, titanium, chromite, rare earth elements, low iron ore extraction, extraction of brine, phosphates...

Based on the divisions, the total IMIDRO exploration function is divided into two sections, “Exploratory Zones” and “Exploratory Projects”. 

New Zones

In the exploration zones, a new exploration plan began in the Sangan Mining Zone (northeast), followed by the eastern strip and other regions of Iran. The result of this enormous activity in 36 zones is the identification of 400 mineral areas, the details of which are as follows:

1. Conducting identification and exploration operations in 22 provinces, including 36 zones in more than 270,000 square kilometers

2. Identification of more than 400 new promising areas in some areas of the country including:

  •  76 promising areas in the Sangan zone of ​​Khorasan Razavi Province

  •  28 promising areas in the borderline of Sistan and Baluchestan Province

  •  12 promising areas in Saravan in Sistan and Baluchestan Province

  •  16 promising areas in the borderline of South Khorasan Province

  •  100 promising areas in Abadeh Jasmoryan region

  •  60 promising areas in the center of Iran

  •  10 promising areas in Ardebil Province

  •  88 promising areas in other exploratory locations

Since the beginning of the activities of this sector, 82 exploration projects have been implemented in general, detailed and complementary phases in different regions of the country. The designs are based on various minerals such as iron, coal, poly metal, gold, copper, antimony, lead and zinc, chromite, titanium, nickel, molybdenum, barite, phosphate, bauxite, brine (potash, magnesium, lithium and others...). Only in the complementary project of Zarshouran gold exploration 50% has been added to the reserves of the mine. Meanwhile, good gold mines have been identified on the golden belt of the country.

Participation of 100 Private Companies

In line with IMIDRO’s policies for attracting private sector participation, various meetings were held with different companies, and by providing the opportunity to visit the above-mentioned regions measures were taken to encourage domestic and foreign investors. The first call for the transfer of the private sector in 2015 was in Nikooye (Qazvin Province). However, during the last four years, private sector companies involved in consulting, contracting and ... after the bidding, have taken over the implementation phase of all the exploration projects. Over the past three years, about 100 domestic companies, some of which using foreign partners, have implemented the organization’s exploration plans. 

Investing in Exploration

Considering 2012 as the base year, the amount of drilling carried out from 2013 to 2018 stood at 1.5 million meters of drilling at a cost of 7,500 billion rials which was made in the course of base and complementary explorations.

One of the effects of the exploration plan is the discovery of new mineral deposits. The initial results indicate that the amount of reserves of eight types of minerals including gold, coal and carbon fiber, iron ore, antimony, rare earth elements, barite, bauxite and copper has increased. Noting that the reserves of rare earth elements in Iran were unknown before the exploration plan, so far about 65,000 tons of these elements have been discovered. 

Development of Infrastructures & Specialized Zones in Mining & Mineral Industries

Considering that about 70% of the freight shipped through the rail network is related to minerals and mineral products, since 1392 (2013/14), in close coordination with the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways, improving rail fleet efficiency on the routes to mines and mining industries are on the agenda. Specific results of this effort are as follows:

  •  Continuation and increase in number of scheduled trains from Choghart, Chadormalu, Golgohar, Sangan, etc. to various destinations

  •  Investigating the possibility of carrying hybrid (rail-sea) minerals from mines to Khouzestan Steel Company

  •  Reducing rail tariffs compared to road transport

  •  Due to ongoing efforts, daily trips has risen from 100 km to 300 km in scheduled trains; the need for follow-up on continuation of this trend

  •  Definition of investment packages in development of rail network with the approach of mineral loads in the form of BOT contracts and....

  •  Collaborating on increasing the capacity of the eastern railroad network (Torbat-Jandagh) and proposing import/export duties in order to provide part of the funding needed for this section of the rail network related to minerals

  •  Increase by 16.6% in productivity index of wagons in 2016 compared to 2013

Table on rise in Mineral elements derived from the exploration plan

Mineral resources

Previous resources

Current resources

Increase

Gold (tons)

252

292

42

Bauxite (million tons)

14

35

21

Barite (million tons)

10

113

103

Antimony (tons)

5,000

35,000

3,0000

Rare earth elements (tons)

0

65,000

65,000

Coke coal (million tons)

752

1,097

345

Thermal Coal (million tons)

410

630

220

Iron ore (million tons)

2,650

3,150

500

Special Zones

Persian Gulf Mining & Metal Industries Special Economic Zone

The Persian Gulf Mining and Metal Industries Special Economic Zone is located 13 km from Shahid Rajaei Highway in the west of Bandar Abbas. Some 2,000 hectares of the zone is operational and investor companies are running or developing their desired projects. Since 2013, infrastructure development operations have begun in a development site of 2,500 hectares. Investor recruitment has begun in this development area, and so far several investors have begun their executive operations. Due to shortage of electricity in the area, the Ghadir Oxin Power Plant was outlined and became operational. The plant will be inaugurated in 2018 and will provide electricity for development.

There are about 5 million tons of steel making in the area and one of the successes of IMIDRO in this period was to bring the steel shareholders and collect them around a table at IMIDRO. With the cooperation of these companies, IMIDRO has outlined and plans to operate the 10-million-ton mega module steel project in the Persian Gulf Mining and Metal Industries Special Economic Zone. 

Preparing Infrastructures in Lamerd Special Energy Intensive Zone

Lamerd site is located south of Fars Province, 6 km northeast of Lamerd city. Its area is about 8,500 hectares. Lamerd’s aerial space from the Parsian Energy-Intensive Industrial Special Economic Zone (PEISEZ) as well as the under construction port and jetty in Hormuzgan Province is 30 km and will be connected by the 43-km Persian Gulf freeway.

PEISEZ will require an investment of $37.4 billion in the nongovernmental sector for production of 4 million tons of steel, 18 million tons of petrochemicals, 1.2 million tons of aluminum, 6,000 megawatts of electricity per year, and the construction of Parsian port with an annual capacity of 40 million tons and desalination plants. So far, two petrochemical units with a total investment of $4.2 billion have started operating in the region, which ultimately provides direct employment for 75,000 people and indirect employment for some 270,000 people.

Currently, there are two projects underway: the South Aluminum Ingot Plant with a capacity of 300,000 tons per year and a 930-MW combined cycle power plant to supply electricity for the plant and other industries. Other investment opportunities in this area include: the aluminum industry and its downstream industries, cement, magnesium, petrochemicals, and the downstream steel industries with high value added.

So far, several petrochemical and metallurgical companies have received the necessary permits as well as land. 

Kashan Special Economic Zone

In accordance with the law on the creation of special economic zones approved by the Parliament in 2010 and the 2012 mandate of the council of ministers Kashan Special Economic Zone was created and IMIDRO was assigned as the responsible organization of the zone.

In the wake of follow-ups of the CEO of IMIDRO Dr. Karbasian; the activity of Kashan Special Economic Zone started in June 2015 in the presence of minister of industry, mine and trade, president of the board of governors and governor general of Isfahan. So far, the comprehensive plan of the region has been prepared and approved by the Secretariat of the High Council of Free Trade, Industrial and Special Economic Zones. Land acquisition and delivery from the Forests, Range, and Watershed Management Organization with an area of 1,344 hectares has been made to the regional responsible organization.

The necessary licenses have been received and the area is ready for the presence of the mineral industries and downstream industries. 

Plan to Create Necessary Infrastructure in Large Mines & Mineral Areas

This project is being implemented and pursued as one of IMIDRO’s empowerment projects. The plan addresses access of small and medium-sized mines of the private sector to infrastructures and seeks to increase generation of employment opportunities in mineral areas, mainly in less developed areas, by supporting small mines, in addition to increasing mining share and gross domestic product (GDP).

Between 2005 and 2017, a total of 2,318 billion rials of commitment were defined in the form of projects to create and complete mining industries infrastructures within 266 contracts (contracting, monitoring, consulting, and laboratory). Some 28% of the amount in rials with 200 contracts (650 billion rials) was outlined from 2005 to the end of 2012 and 72% of the amount in rials was defined with 66 contracts (1,668 billion rials) from 2013 to 2017.

From 2013 to 2016, 66 contracts were concluded with an amount of 1,350 billion rials. From 2013 to 2017, 20 executive projects (two electricity supply projects, 17 road construction projects and one weighbridge installation project) have been outlined, with five road construction projects commissioned in 2017.

In 2018, five road construction projects and one electricity supply project will be operational.

Given the impact of the project on small and medium mines, IMIDRO has supported this project from its internal resources whenever it has been necessary. 

Importance and Development of Applied Research

Thanks to special attention of Dr. Karbasian to research and technology activities, IMIDRO and affiliated companies between 2013 and 2018 spent more than 8 trillion rials on applied research. Over the past few years, we’ve seen the highest level of IMIDRO’s cooperation with the universities of the country. IMIDRO has signed cooperation agreements (MOUs) with 25 universities and scientific centers and conducts research projects. We hope this will lead to an appropriate leap in knowledge in Iranian experts.

Contracts have been signed with Sharif University of Technology, University of Tehran, Kerman University, and Islamic Azad University, and...

IMIDRO sponsors dozens of conferences and publication of books annually and equips specialized laboratories every year.

One of the remarkable efforts of the organization over the past five years is to support students and specialized dissertations related to mining and mineral industries.

Some of the most important research topics of the past three years are:

1. Applied research in processing and extraction of the essential and critical elements needed in advanced and emerging technologies

2. Applied research and studies in promoting the productivity of mines and mineral industries

3. Application of new technologies (nanotechnology and biotechnology) in applied research and development of mining and mineral industries

4. Development of technical knowledge and scientific information needed in the development of mining and mineral industries

5. Applied and developmental research in the mining and mineral industries

6. Supply and procurement of software and hardware infrastructure required in technology research and development

Education

In 2018, IMIDRO and its subsidiaries and affiliates have held around 21,000 training courses and more than 3.2 million hours of training. The number of participants in these courses was more than 80 thousand. Esfahan’s Mobarakeh Steel Co. and National Iranian Copper Industries Co. are among the top mining and mining industries companies in the field of education. Over the past five years, education has been one of the points of strength at IMIDRO.

IMIDRO through creditable organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the mining sectors, such as the provincial mining engineering association, and the provincial industry, Mine and trade organization, annually holds 300 training courses for the private sector free of charge. In addition, each year, 10 courses are held with foreign professors from many countries attending. 

Iran Mineral Research Center: Self-Sustaining, Localization & Processing Development

Iran Mineral Processing Research Center (IMPRC) started its activities as one of the world’s first research centers in the field of mineralogy, chemistry, processing and localization of mineral processing equipment and components, and has gained significant achievements in these fields. The localization of the technical knowhow of rare earth elements, production of the first antimony ingot and the construction of its production line, production of four Misch Metal ingots of rare earth elements, has increased its revenues by 42%, including the achievements of the center for the past three years.

In recent years, the revenues of the center has grown 50% on average in various sections (minerals, chemistry, processing, environment and manufacturing workshops) compared to 2013.

The development goals of the center are in the field of manufacturing processing equipment and communication with leading research centers in the field of processing, focusing on the processing of rare earth elements, holding training courses, expanding the market for mineral processing in different fields and equipping laboratories with new and advanced machines.

In the new term of activity of IMPRC (11th government), various achievements have been made such as:

  • Outlining two-year objectives and operational plans of the center, including short-term goals and prioritization of projects, allocation of required resources, implementation of organizational structure reforms and human resources management system; ongoing and future projects

  • Definition and creation of an industrial marketing unit in the organizational structure of IMPRC 

  • Preparation of cooperation agreements with international companies such as South Africa’s Mintek and Australia’s Mineral Technologies with a view to access international projects and benefiting from expertise of the said companies in implementation of the processing sector project

  • Communication with provincial industry, mine and trade organizations in order to provide the provinces with an opportunity to attract provincial projects

  • Inauguration of a plan for processing research and feasibility of rare earth elements and the acquisition of knowledge on the production of metals of rare earth elements  and strategic materials, in the presence of Ali Akbar Salehi, Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI); Dr. Sorena Sattari, Vice President for Science and Technology and chairman of IMIDRO Board of Governors in 2015

  • Extraction of rare earth elements for the first time in the country and the acquisition of technology for the production of metals of rare earth elements and strategic materials such as Misch Metal ingot, and…

  • Localization of the know-how in the field of rare earth elements is one of the other achievements of the center, which is ready to be transferred to other countries; Also, for the transfer of technical knowledge in some areas, including iron ore, copper, etc., training foreign experts has been on the agenda of the center, and so far, there have been three training courses for experts from the ECO countries

  • Conclusion and implementation of important mineral, chemical and systemic projects at the national level, such as the development of technology of mobile units processing in small mines and construction of a heavy chain separator for the private sector

  • Installation, commissioning and operation of the project for production unit of Nehbandan antimony ingot

  • Installation of related equipment and machines

IMPRC has taken measures in the laboratory section, such as:

  • Customer satisfaction improvement and compliance programming

  • Receipt of the standard certificate of quality management system in accordance with ISO/IEC17025: 2005

  • Chemistry and mineralogy tests and processing of IMIDRO exploration samples

  • Analysis of drilling and geological samples of the National Iranian Copper Industries Company

The center has also taken actions in the processing section, such as:

  •  Iron and titanium extraction from placer iron ore deposits

  •  Studies on the processing and feasibility of rare earth elements

  •  Surface chemistry studies by Nano micro flotation method on Esfordi phosphate traces

  •  Conducting processing studies, Sangan iron ore granularity waste

Other actions taken at the center include the study of environmental pollutants, preparation of IMIDRO database and the environmental software, and conducting two audits by the National Center for Quality Assurance and Alborz Provincial Bureau of Standardization and the standardization of the quality management system ISO/IEC17025 from the National Center for Qualification Endorsement and the Trust Certified Partner of the Alborz Standard Office.

The development of the processing center in the relevant fields of expertise; launching and running a mobile pilot through construction of mobile equipment for small units; developing cooperation with advanced countries in the processing of minerals; forging cooperation fields and development of processing knowledge and applying them to the mineral industries; strengthening the marketing sector to attract foreign investors into the mining sector; signing cooperation agreements with foreign companies for joint research; gaining access to international projects and benefitting from the expertise of the mentioned companies in execution of the processing sector and increasing the level of customer satisfaction are among the development plans of the center.

Among other plans carried out by the center mention can be made of the following:

- Creating motivation and enhancing the skills and efficiency of the staff, employing qualified and competent individuals in laboratories through implementing improvement projects and using relevant systems and patterns of organizational commendation

- Developing the scope of activities related to pertinent tests through research work and purchasing equipment

- Proper communication with qualified suppliers and contractors to meet the needs of the center

- Strict control and full oversight of all projects of the center to increase efficiency and improve its outcomes

- Continuous improvement in the range of activities and functions through the quality management system and implementation of laboratory standards

- Offering quality and timely services at reasonable costs in accordance with laboratory methods to the customers  

Communication with foreign centers is one of the necessities of developing a research center. For this purpose, IMPRC, in cooperation with the IMIDRO Training, Research and Technology Office, has dispatched its representatives to visit reputable mineral companies and has signed international cooperation agreements with scientific and research centers. Among the most important actions mention can be made of negotiations with four internationally acclaimed companies including Mintek, MSA Group, Fraser Alexander and Maelgwyn Mineral Services to develop cooperation in the field of mineral processing. Also, during the recent visits to the center of the minister of mines of Guinea Conakry and the chairman of the Vincent Co-China Company emphasis was placed on development of technical cooperation in the field of mines.

Also, IMPRC in 2016 launched the first international symposium on mineral processing agents, inviting faculty members and elites from different countries. The symposium aims to synchronize international interactions in different fields. New methods and equipment for the processing of minerals, rare earth elements processing, titanomagnetite processing, gold and precious metals, recycling of waste from waste materials and residues, the role of analysis in the processing of minerals, environmental studies and economics in mines and mining industries were discussed during the event. The center also conducted a training course for experts from the ECO (Economic Cooperation Organization) countries for the third consecutive year.

Broad Communication with NGOs and Guilds

Upon the order of Dr. Karbasian from 2013, effective communication with NGOs and guilds was put on the agenda of IMIDRO and was recognized as one of the most important decisions. IMIDRO at the level of top and middle managers continuously holds working sessions with the private sector such as the House of Mine, Association of Engineering, Association of Iron Ore Producers and Exporters, Iron and Steel Association, Steel Manufacturers Association, Stone Manufacturers Association, Commodities Exchange, Aluminum Guilds, and so on.

Health, Safety, Environment & Energy Measures

Since the appointment of Dr. Karbasian as IMIDRO CEO, the HSEE has assumed a special place. Initially, it strengthened its position in the organizational chart and came under direct supervision of chairman of the board of governors. Then, the HSEE status was strengthened in subsidiary and affiliate companies. Over the past five years, there has been a very good and fair relationship between IMIDRO and the Department of Environment. IMIDRO also managed to boost the activities in mineral industries by improving the level of standards and getting help from international experts. By accepting the costs of raising the level of standards, IMIDRO has caused development in part of the country and the introduction of new environmental technologies.

The result of the heavy monitoring and continuous audit of the HSEE of subsidiaries companies was the creation of hundreds of improvement projects that significantly improved the level of environmental protection. Installing a large number of contamination monitoring devices, filtration systems, sewage absorption systems, construction of tailings dam, system of efficiency and reduction of water and energy consumption were all part of recent actions.

Cooperation and Support of Large Companies in Mining & Mineral Sector

One of the policies of Dr. Karbasian, which is very much appreciated, is cooperation with and support for large mining companies and mineral industries. Most of these companies have been subsidiaries of IMIDRO in the past, which were cut off with IMIDRO after privatization. Some of these companies have been created and developed from the outset in the private sector.

In the past five years, IMIDRO has supported some of these companies as if it were a shareholder. In many cases, when faced with bureaucratic problems and barriers, IMIDRO has been helping out and removing obstacles by using experiences and helping them with governance and brand credibility. Wherever IMIDRO has been involved with foreign investors, it has also supported the domestic private sector.

 

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