Economy, Business And Markets

Small Iron Ore Mines Shut

Small Iron Ore Mines ShutSmall Iron Ore Mines Shut

The serious crisis faced by the steel sector during the past Iranian calendar year (ended March 20, 2014) resulted in the closure of 40% of small-scale iron ore mines across the country, Fooladnews on Tuesday quoted Mohammad Reza Bahramani, the deputy head of Iran Mine House as saying.

“We would not be in this bad situation if we’d followed the path taken by the mining sectors in other countries in devising effective strategies and policies,” said Bahramani, urging the officials to play a more active role to end the stagnation in the mining sector.

Officials claim there are good potentials in the country for exporting minerals. However, experts believe exporting minerals is not economical under the current circumstances and the production rate is high enough to supply the domestic demand only.

“The private sector, in the past few years, has prevented the mining companies from going bankrupt,” said Rasool Khalifeh Soltan, the secretary of Iranian Steel Producers Association (ISPA).

The ISPA secretary praised the privatization process in the country’s steel sector during the recent years and described it as a good role model for the mineral industries.

He urged all those active in the mining sector to keep up with the progress achieved by steel producers across the country.

Many experts in the steel market as well as those in the mining sector believe that closer interaction is a vital thing that’s currently missing between the steel industry and the mining industry.

The country aims at increasing crude steel production to at least 52 million metric tons per year by 2025. But with the current 9-million-metric-ton shortage in iron ore pellets, the objective seems to be far-fetched.

The goal will seem even more ambitious considering this week’s comments by Mehdi Karbasian, the deputy minister of industry, mine, and trade. Karbasian is also the head of Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO), which is the country’s major state-owned holding company responsible for policy-making in mining and steel sectors.

Karbasian warned that if national steel projects with a physical progress of 20% or more would be completed ahead of schedule, the country would then face iron ore shortage by 2025.

The administration, which has announced new developments plans to increase annual steel output, is expected to pay the same attention to the mining sector as the provider of raw materials for producing steel.

 Another instance of negligence in the mining sector is Khomrood coal mine in the southeastern Kerman Province. The facility has been closed for 15 years. The coal mine has millions of metric tons of coal reserves, with its coal being among the best in the world in terms of quality.