The Forum for Partners in Iran's Marketplace

September 2018, No. 88

Overall Development, on Sabanour Agenda

Sabanour pelletizing project is one of the most important projects underway

Mohammad Kalantari, Managing Director of Sabanour Mining and Industrial Development Co.

Sabanour Mining and Industrial Development Company is currently the largest iron ore producer in the northwest of Iran. The company’s products until recent years included granulated iron ore and concentrate but now the pellet production is also included in the product portfolio of this company. The company’s vision for the year 1400 (2021/22) is the production of high value added products with better quality, including iron ore extraction of 4 million tons per year, and production of 2 million tons of concentrate and pellet each, annually.

Mohammad Kalantari, the Managing Director of Sabanour Mining and Industrial Development Company, who in the past was the secretary of the board of directors of Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO), has already introduced new changes with regard to the company’s development. He considers creation of diversity in the company’s portfolio, carrying out exploration activities and also implementing the 1.5-million-ton pellet project as the projects underway in the company. According to him, the 50-million-euro pelletizing project is one of the most important projects of the company.

As for the last year performance of Sabanour, Kalantari referred to the fact that the company has currently three mines with about 100 million tons of definite iron ore reserves. He said: “Last year, we produced 1.5 million tons of iron ore, of which 1.1 million tons of concentrate was produced. One million tons of this output was exported to overseas markets.” He added: “Last year, the company also produced nearly 112,000 tons of pellets, and in the New Year’s plan, iron ore production will reach 2.5 million tons, iron ore concentrate 1.5 million tons and pellet 480,000 tons.” He stressed that if the environmental license of Shahrak Mine in Kurdestan Province is obtained, the extraction permit will increase from the present 750,000 tons to 2 million tons. Kalantari, while commenting on Sabanour production outlook, said in the 2021 perspective production capacity of Sabanour Company will reach 2 million tons in pellet, 2 million tons in concentrate and 4 million tons in iron ore. 

Portfolio Development

He pointed to the portfolio development as one of the ongoing plans and said in this plan, in addition to the iron ore, the company will reach exploration and production of lead, zinc, copper and gold.

He added: “Currently, in the area of ​​Ravar (Kerman Province) 1,200 square kilometers are under exploratory activities as there are potential deposits of zinc, lead, iron, coal and sedimentary copper. 

Mine Purchase Plan

He emphasized: “In the future plans of the company exploration operations will be expanded around the existing mines and the plan for purchasing mines will be conducted through negotiations. In fact, we are considering increasing the reserves of the existing mines with new discoveries.” 


Referring to the fact that Sabanour has recently formed the independent HSE unit, Kalantari said: “There was no such an independent unit in the company before, but now in the central office, a separate and independent management unit for the implementation of projects and the necessary standards in the area of ​​health, safety and environment has been established. As for the IT and the training, we also have new programs and will develop these units.” He emphasized: “We professionally implement and follow up HSE programs in three mines, two concentrate factories and an iron ore pellet factory. In the field of software, we are also upgrading the old systems. There was no training section in the company in the past, but currently with the establishment of the relevant unit, both domestic and international trainings will be implemented simultaneously.” 

Financial Resources of Pelletizing Project

He referred to the development plan of the 1.5-million-ton pellet project as one of the most prominent programs on the agenda of Sabanour and stressed: “On behalf of the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade, IMIDRO and Mining and Metals Development Holding (a shareholder of Sabanour Company) we have been requested to establish a 1.5-million-ton pelletizing plant in Kurdestan Province. A total of 50 million euros will be invested in this project.” He added that the consultant of the plan has been recently chosen and the contractor will be selected as well. Sabanour CEO noted: “Finally, in order to fund the plan we will seek help from the National Development Fund. But now we are preparing and finalizing a bankable feasibility study.” In conclusion, he stated that in fact, pelletizing is one of the most important projects in the Bijar region of Kurdestan, based on which in the 2021 Horizon Plan, by taking the present factory into account, production capacity of pellets will reach 2 million tons.

Commenting on the development and increase of production in Sabanour in the current calendar year of 1397 (2018/19), Kalantari said: “By the end of 1396 (2017/18), Sabanour produced 1.5 million tons of granulated iron ore, 1.1 million tons of iron ore concentrate and, 140,000 tons of pellets. The company’s program for the current year is to increase productivity and production of iron ore to 2.5 million tons and iron ore concentrate to 1.5 million tons. We also plan to increase pellet production to 500,000 tons.”

Sabanour intends to launch the new 1.5-million-ton pellet project in the Bijar region of Kurdestan in 1397, and it is expected that the project with regard to the planning made, to become operational in 1400. Also, in the case of obtaining environmental permits, the operation permit of Bijar iron ore mine will be issued and in that case, extraction of this mine will increase from 750,000 tons to 2 million tons.

In line with developing investments in the mining sector and diversifying the product portfolio, the company has recently expanded its investment and considering the operational activities in the exploration zone of Ravar, Kerman (1200 square kilometers) with lead and zinc potential, it has put investment in other basic metals, especially copper and gold, on its agenda.

In 1396, Sabanour exported about one million tons (90 percent) of its concentrate output. One of the important plans of the company in the current year is development of detailed exploration (drilling) around its mines in the provinces of Kurdestan and Hamedan, which is hoped the definite and approximate reserves will have significant increase.

In Sabanour Mining and Industrial Development Company, with an aim of increasing productivity and production, three sections of safety, health and environment, IT and training have been established which need to be strengthened for the organizational excellence.


Sabanour Mining and Industrial Development Co. (Public Joint Stock)

Tel.: +98 21 27645501-2

Fax: +98 21 27665320




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  September 2018
No. 88