Economy, Business And Markets

Iranian Firm Mulls Buying Iron Ore Mine in Australia

Golgohar Mining and Industrial Company is located 50 km from Sirjan in the southwest Kerman Province.Golgohar Mining and Industrial Company is located 50 km from Sirjan in the southwest Kerman Province.

Golgohar Mining and Industrial Company (GEG) is considering purchasing an iron ore mine in Australia, manager Nasser Taqizadeh said.

The company will either make the purchase on its own or through a consortium made up of Iranian steelmakers, Minews reported.

“Australia is our main choice, as we seek to buy a mine in a country with high investment security,” Taqizadeh was quoted as saying.

He added that establishing a consortium and using the Australian ore will definitely be an efficient and economic choice, as the commodity will be transported to Iran using large carriers capable of carrying 100,000-150,000 tons of ore. That is the maximum carrier size Iranian ports can accommodate, according to the official.

The company is currently conducting the project’s feasibility studies and holding talks with steelmakers.

Golgohar Mining and Industrial Company, located 50 km from Sirjan in the southwest Kerman Province, operates mines containing six ore bodies spread over an area of 40 square kilometers. The total deposits of iron ore in the region are estimated to be over 1.135 billion tons.

The major ore body has a deposit of more than 650 million tons, according to the company's website.

The mines are connected to the Trans-Iranian Railroad through the Tehran-Bandar Abbas line.

➢ Austria Denies Golgohar Involvement

Following reports in the local media that Austria was extending a credit line to help build a steel plant in Golgohar, the Austrian government has denied any such move.

"Reports in the Iranian press have no basis; the topic was not addressed by our side at all. There was, therefore, no pledge or signing," a spokeswoman from the Austrian Finance Ministry told Metal Bulletin.

She declined a request to confirm reports that the credit line had been extended to Iran at all.

Hans Jorg Schelling, Austria’s finance minister, led a delegation in a visit to Iran earlier this month aimed at strengthening ties between the two countries' banks, but there were conflicting reports on what exactly was agreed between the parties.

According to a report by IRNA on Sunday, Austria’s Oberbank extended a €1 billion ($1.12 billion) credit line to Iran to "provide finance and cooperation development between the two countries".

And on the same day, a report published by an Iranian state-run television outlet noted that it would be used to help make a 2.4-million-ton per year steel plant in Golgohar.

It said Austrian steelmaker Voestalpine would be joining "Iranian partners" to build the steel plant.

However, a spokeswoman for Voestalpine flatly denied any involvement in the project.

"It is false information and we do not know where it came from," she said, adding that the reports were "surprising".

"We have no projects in Iran [and] we are not involved," she said.

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