Economy, Domestic Economy

Major Aluminum Plant to Come on Stream by May 2017

Major Aluminum Plant to Come on Stream by May 2017Major Aluminum Plant to Come on Stream by May 2017

The construction of Jajarm Aluminum Plant will be completed by the end of May 2017, according to the head of Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization.

Mehdi Karbasian, who is also a deputy minister of industries, mining and trade, said the plant is being jointly constructed by IMIDRO and the Chinese NFC company.

NFC, established in 1983, is China’s largest project contractor for nonferrous metal exploitation and has previously cooperated with Iranian firms in different projects such as the construction of a new plant for Iran Aluminum Company, establishment of Iran Alumina Company and Almahdi Hormozal Aluminum Company.

According to Karbasian, over $136 million have been invested in Jajarm project so far.

“Once complete, the plant will be capable of producing 37,000 tons of aluminum ingots per year,” he said, adding that the production capacity will later be expanded to over 100,000 tons per year following future development projects.

The project is part of the expansion scheme devised by IMIDRO’s subsidiary Iran Alumina Company, which is Iran’s primary supplier of alumina.

The company has access to Iran’s only developed bauxite mine located in Jajarm County with 8 million of proven reserves, 3 million tons of which have been recently added following a comprehensive mineral exploration project undertaken by IMIDRO since 2013.

According to Tooraj Zare’, the managing director of Iran Alumina Company, explorations at Jajarm have so far reached a depth of 2,500 meters. Further explorations at the mine will also be conducted in late November.

Bauxite, an aluminum ore, is the world’s primary source of aluminum. It is usually strip-mined because it is almost always found near the surface of the terrain, with little or no overburden. As of 2010, between 70% and 80% of the world’s dry bauxite production are processed first into alumina and then into aluminum by electrolysis.

Iran aims to produce 1.5 million tons of aluminum ingots per year, as stipulated in the 20-Year National Vision Plan (2005-25).

According to Karbasian, more than $10 billion of investment are needed to realize this ambitious target.

The country produced 350,000 tons of aluminum ingots in the last fiscal year (March 2015-16). About $214 million worth of aluminum products were exported during the same period, while imports stood at $344 million.