The Forum for Partners in Iran's Marketplace

September 2018, No. 88

IMIDRO Exclusive

A Glance at Production of
Major Items in Mining

Production of steel ingots in the first quarter of 1397 increased by 17% compared to the same period a year before.

Iran’s mining and mineral industries sector accounts for 5.5% of the GDP. Of course, with future developments and policies being applied, the share of this sector will grow significantly. However, the role of this part of gross national product has direct and indirect impact on other sectors and also contributes to the growth of other GDP inputs. According to experts, every 1 percent GDP growth in the mining sector will account for 2.85 percent growth in total of GDP.


The steel production in 1396 (2017/18) was 21,840,000 tons, up 19 percent compared with the year before (18,466,000 tons). This year the level of growth in production has been unique among the countries of the world. Steel production capacity reached 33.1 million tons in 1396 and is expected to exceed 38 million tons by the end of 1397 (2018/19). During the calendar year 1396, 19,766,000 tons of steel products were manufactured, up 9 percent year-on-year (18,151,000 tons). At present, the steel production capacity is about 42 million tons per year.

Production of steel ingots in the first quarter of 1397 increased by 17% compared to the same period a year before. Meanwhile, steel products in the same period grew 11% and sponge iron production increased by 7% compared to the corresponding period last year.  


With more than 22 million tons of copper reserves, Iran holds about 3.1 percent of the world’s copper reserves. The production of cathode copper in the country reached 161 thousand tons in 1396 and production of copper concentrate reached 1.2 million tons during the same period. The major part of Iranian copper products is produced by the National Iranian Copper Industries Company. One of the events of the past year in the Iranian copper industry was the modernization and upgrading of technology and the use of new methods in refineries and the smelting unit, which resulted in a temporary decrease in the production of cathode copper in 1396, compared to the previous year. The production of copper cathode in 1397 is estimated at 220,000 tons. The production of copper in 2017 was about 302,000 tons, up 7 percent from 2016 (282,000 tons). In 2017, more than $1,337 million in foreign sales and 37,170 billion rials in domestic sales were made.

The production of cathode copper in the first quarter of 1397 compared to the same period last year increased by 50%. Meanwhile, production of copper concentrate went up 10 percent during the period.

Aluminum & Alumina

In 1396, more than 337,000 tons of aluminum were produced, which is about one percent less than last year. Aluminum production in Iran is projected to reach 345,000 tons by the end of 1397. Based on the projects underway, with the opening of the aluminum ingot production line at Jajarm Alumina Company and the launch of the first phase of the Southern Aluminum, taking into account the withdrawal of Line 1 and Line 2 of Iranian Aluminum Company (IRALCO) due to environmental problems and replacement of these two lines, production capacity will increase to 777,000 tons. This will improve Iran’s rank in the global aluminum production. Production in the first quarter of 1397 was 11% higher than its previous year.

Due to the high volume of aluminum produced in Iran, we always need alumina powder as an aluminum primary material. Part of the aluminum industry primary materials is imported from countries with bauxite; therefore, Jajarm Alumina Plant, as the only alumina producer in the country, provides a significant portion of the domestic demand. By expanding its exploration activities, the company guarantees the future of the aluminum industry in Iran. Of course, the new developmental areas of this industry are located near the southern seas of the country so that in addition to providing bauxite and alumina powder from outside, it will benefit from the unique energy advantage of the country. A significant portion of the cost of aluminum ingots is related to energy. The production of alumina powder in 1396 reached 240,000 tons, which shows a growth of 2.1% compared to the same period in 1395. Production is projected to increase to 245,000 tons by the end of 1397 (March 2019). 

Iron Ore

About 2% of the world’s iron ore reserves (iron-content) are in Iran; the country also ranks ninth in the world’s iron ore reserves (iron-content). Iran’s share in the world’s iron ore production in 2017 was 1.5% and stood in the tenth place in the mineral production of the metal. During 1396, Iran produced more than 74 million tons of iron ore, recording a growth of 14.7 percent year-on-year. This figure is expected to reach 75 million tons for 1397. On the other hand, pelleting production capacity will reach 58.2 million tons by the end of 1397 and the capacity for concentrates will reach 51.9 million tons.

One of the most important reasons for output growth of pellets and iron ore concentrates was the opening of two large projects in the Sangan area.

The production of granulated iron ore in the first quarter of 1396 increased by 22% compared to the same period a year before. In the same period iron ore concentrate production recorded a growth of 20% and iron ore pellets 22%. 


In 1396, about 1.5 million tons of coal concentrate was produced, and production in 1397 is expected to increase slightly and reach 1.6 million tons. The commissioning of 300-thousand-ton coal washing plant in Savadkouh and 400- thousand-ton plant in Tabas caused the increase in production volume. In the current calendar year, a comprehensive coal project will be unveiled by IMIDRO (Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization). 


Iranian factories produced about 55.2 million tons of cement and 58.2 million tons of clinker in 1396. Production of cement was the same as in the previous year, and clinker output recorded a 1% drop. The cement production capacity in Iran is 83.5 million tons. Based on the international statistics of 2014 and 2015, the Islamic Republic of Iran, with a 1.6% share, ranks seventh in the world production. China, India, and the United States also accounted for 57%, 6.6% and2% of world production during the said years, respectively. 

Other Mining and Mining Industries Products of Iran

Possessing 68 types of minerals, Iran has numerous products in this field. Some other products include lead, zinc, animevan, molybdenum, gold, silver, various decorative and constructional stones, nickel, coke, mica, potassium, magnesium, manganese nepheline, chromium and dozens of other product types.


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  September 2018
No. 88