Economy, Business And Markets

Plan to Expedite Bauxite Explorations

Plan to Expedite Bauxite ExplorationsPlan to Expedite Bauxite Explorations

According to the ministry of industry, mine and trade, Iran Alumina Company – as the sole producer of alumina in the country – plans to accelerate its exploration operations to discover new bauxite reserves, Mehr News Agency reported.

The company has already implemented projects in the southwestern of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province, and the provinces of Yazd and Kerman in the center and southeast of the country to discover bauxite mines. Currently, exploitation concessions are being issued for a number of discovered bauxite reserves in these provinces.

Bauxite is a form of aluminum ore and the world's main source of aluminum. Alumina, which is made from bauxite, is also used in other industries such as ceramics and chemicals. The shortage of bauxite, the main reserve of which is in the northeastern city of Jajarm, North Khorasan Province has been considered as a threat to aluminum sector which is required by the National 2025 Vision Plan to produce 1.5 million tons of aluminum within the next decade. The industry ministry officials have recently opened another bauxite mine in Semnan to increase production.

The relatively low grade of bauxite in Jajarm has pushed officials to move towards overseas reserves, as Iran has an agreement with Guinea Conakry in Africa to explore and extract 600 million tons of bauxite.

Iran Alumina is currently the major supplier of alumina to the country's giant aluminum producers such as Iralco and Almahdi.

But since the company is planning to establish a facility to produce aluminum ingots in order to complete the production chain, it would probably consume the entire raw material it produces and therefore other aluminum producers will have to import the material. What is certain is that the country needs more bauxite reserves to produce more alumina.