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September 2018, No. 88


IMIDRO Exclusive

“Our country is one of the big powers in metal production in the world, especially in the steel sector” Shariatmadari said.



“160 employees are working in the factory directly while 500 others are involved indirectly”, Karbasian noted.


Superior Technology

Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade Mohammad Shariatmadari, speaking at the commissioning of Fakoor Sanat Tehran Company’s concentrate plant in Zarand, Kerman said: “One of the promises I had given at the beginning of the 12th government was to compile and implement a 4-year plan for the mineral development of the country. Thanks God today the Mining and Mineral Industries Roadmap is in front of us and will be unveiled soon.”

He said: “By using this map, we know where, with what goals and at what speed we should move in this area. Without a roadmap, it is wrong to act, and in the field of mineral industries, which, according to the Supreme Leader, is one of the alternatives for oil, it was not appropriate to take steps without a roadmap.”

He added: “We have focused on the use of small reserves and mines in the 4-year and comprehensive roadmap, and have anticipated solutions for using these types of mines and for mineral development.”

Shariatmadari said that Fakoor Sanat Tehran Company has implemented 32 million tons of iron production capacity in various fields in the country so far. He added: “If the capacity of concentrate production reaches 2 million tons one of our important dreams has been realized and a great deal of the mining industry is emerging so that instead of selling crude iron ore we would set up processing and production units, create value addition and employment. Our country is one of the big powers in metal production in the world, especially in the steel sector.”

He noted: “Throughout the world, the development of steel, due to its remarkable effects and results, is an important component of a comprehensive and balanced development, and today we own one of the most important and most renowned steel industries in the world.”

Referring to the lack of a comprehensive map of mining and mineral industries, the minister said: “This has caused a lack of equilibrium in the field of mineral industries, and in the steel field, an imbalance in various fields of concentrate, sponge iron, pellets, etc. The problem will be solved gradually through access to this comprehensive document.

Shariatmadari continued: “One of our points of emphasis for the development of mineral activities is paying attention to the issue of exploration so that these activities in the 11th and 12th governments are comparable to all mining activities in both the geophysics and geochemistry sectors.”

He stressed: “By preparing the comprehensive 4-year roadmap for mineral development, for the first time in history, there is a transparent division of labor between activities of geology and cartography organizations and IMIDRO (Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization). By utilizing all the capabilities of the private sector we will take more important steps to improve exploration which is the pillar of mineral development.”

He also disclosed that a large cache of iron ore has been discovered in Yazd Province, equivalent to total reserves of iron ore in the country in a little more depth from the surface we are currently working.

The minister noted: “Exploration is one of the most important elements of our work. Additional explorations are like investing in a production unit where the infrastructures are ready and we need to pay more attention to the prolongation of the life of the complex in order to insure us in fulfilling other mineral activities. IMIDORO is responsible for complementary exploration in commissioning production units.”

He said that the water sector was another important environmental issue, adding that in October 1997, a plan was launched for waste water management and treatment, which has 70 percent physical progress and will be launched in September this year. Using this unit will prevent the loss of one thousand cubic meters of water annually.

Shariatmadari said that another valuable work at this point is to build a second plant for increasing concentrate grade by using wastes. He added: “The plant will add 20% to the previous employment, which directly and indirectly employs one thousand people, and with the completion of the plan, we will have wider employment.” 

New Technology

IMIDRO Chairman Dr. Mehdi Karbasian, pointing out the specific characteristics of Jalalabad iron ore processing plant in Zarand, Kerman Province, said that the new technology of low grade hematite iron ore (which did not exist in Iran before), as well as private sector investment in the construction of the plant, are the two significant features of the project.

Referring to IMIDRO’s development tasks, he said the organization had called for investment in production of concentrate from low grade hematite ore the winner of which was identified in 1393 (2014/15). “Now, with the operation of the plant, we are witnessing the launch of the first IMIDRO project to attract investment from the private sector.”

He further stated that the high grade hematite iron ore plant, by using the low grade deposits, has been built adjacent to Jalalabad mine, adding that the plan was realized with 1,570-billion-rial investment (by Fakoor Sanat Tehran Company).

Karbasian reminded that in the past few years, 10 million tons of low grade iron ore (34 percent) had been deposited in the vicinity of the mine.

As for the employment in this project, he noted that 160 employees are working in the factory directly while 500 others are involved indirectly.

Noting that the plant was built and put into operation 18 months after the contract was effectively implemented, he said the plant with an incoming feed of 2.2 million tons per year, has the potential to produce 600,000 tons of iron ore concentrate annually with a grade above 66 percent.

He emphasized that the plan is being implemented with an aim of enhancing mines and mining productivity and now has received the welcome of other companies in reprocessing and increasing productivity of other mines.

According to Karbasian, by using the new technology in the processing of low grade minerals that were unusable, while providing the raw materials for the industrial units, it could help create job opportunities and increase productivity of the mines. 

High Class Technology

Managing Director of Fakoor Sanat Tehran Company, who is also the investor of the first plan of Jalalabad low grade hematite iron ore in Zarand also said the plant is the first to produce concentrate from the low grade and waste hematic iron ore.

Mohammad Vahid Sheikhzadeh further said that 250 people are working directly in the plan while 500 others are indirectly involved in it.

He noted that the capacity of Zarand hematite concentrate iron ore is 600,000 tons and high class technology has been used in its design and building.

He stated that 11,475,000 euros plus 1,570 billion rials have been invested in the project. 

Leading Company

The plant to enrich low grade to high grade hematite iron ore reserves of Jalalabad mine was put into operation for the first time in the country with the investment of a private sector company (Fakoor Sanat Tehran Company).

According to IMIDRO, so far Iran did not possess the necessary technology for taking advantage of the low grade hematite deposits but with the launching of the plant, a new technology for using the minerals which were previously considered as waste, has entered the iron ore section.

The plan has become operational in the two sections of crushing, and grade enrichment and processing with an initial incoming capacity of 2.2 million tons per year as well as production of 600,000 tons of concentrate annually.

The operation in the construction and building section was launched in October 2014 and in accordance with the progress of the work and arrival of domestic and foreign equipment, planning was put on the agenda for the installation of mechanical and electrical instruments and the first phase of the plant became operational in January 2015.

Also, as of March 2016, with the selection of the contractor for mechanical and electrical installation, activities for the installation of the second phase started and the initial operation and production of concentrate was successfully started in November 2016.

Since its inception, the plant has produced 700,000 tons of iron ore concentrate from about 3 million tons of low grade waste iron ore (26-28 percent Hematite). 

Positive Prospect of Low Grades

Completing the steel cycle and creating more value added in the extraction of mineral products by using the low grade hematite iron ore can become faster and bigger in volume.

Creating value added and approaching the 55-million-ton output target has further added to the importance of using the maximum capacity of mines and mineral resources more than ever; this is to the extent that by using the modern mineral technology in the field of processing, it is possible to bring utilization of the products to the highest possible level.

This is while until recently, the low grade hematite iron ore was considered waste, or due to lack of technology and high costs of processing, it would be exported to foreign markets. The Jalalabad mine, with a capacity of 620,000 tons of high grade concentrate per year and the investment of the private sector, was due to become operational in the third quarter of last year, but the official operation of the plant was postponed until the fifth month of the current calendar year.

Meanwhile, since the beginning of the month of Bahman (February/March) last year, low grade iron ore processing has started in that area.

The private sector is looking for activities in the hematite iron ore mines that the public sector is reluctant to enter into the field due to the high cost of processing. They refer to their goal as the ‘low grade hematite ores processing movement’ and believe that by utilizing such factories when the country would face a shortage of iron ore in 1404 (2025/26), another ring for the completion of steel chain would be created.

 

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  September 2018
No. 88