“Our country is one of the big powers in metal
production in the world, especially in the steel sector”
“160 employees are working in the factory
directly while 500 others are involved indirectly”, Karbasian
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
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.”
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
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
He stated that 11,475,000 euros plus 1,570 billion rials have been invested
in the project.
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
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.