Economy, Domestic Economy

Bitumen Miners Going Out of Business

Bitumen Miners Going Out of BusinessBitumen Miners Going Out of Business

Close to 90% of the 40 bitumen mines in the city of Gilan-e Gharb in Kermanshah Province have gone out of business, a local official said. “Bitumen prices declined alongside oil and now stand at about 2,000 rials ($0.05 at the market exchange rate) per kilo,” Jahanbakhsh Marjani was quoted by Minews as saying. He said high extraction costs and duties in Iran make up more than three quarters of the commodity’s finished costs, rendering production economically unfeasible. According to the official, Gilan-e Gharb holds 1 billion tons of bitumen reserves, which account for 75% of Iran’s total reserves of the mineral. Bitumen, also known as gilsonite, is a bitumen-impregnated rock and a naturally occurring solid hydrocarbon bitumen. This unique mineral is used in more than 160 products, primarily in dark-colored printing inks and paints, oil well drilling muds and cements, asphalt modifiers, foundry sand additives, and a wide variety of chemical products.

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