TEHRAN (Iran News) – Iran exported around $7 billion of mining products in the first seven months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21-October 22), an increase of 105 percent year on year.
The exports amounted to 31 million tons in weight, showing a nine-percent rise compared to the same period last year, IRNA reported.
Steel chains and related products had the biggest share with 57.3 percent, equaling $4.045 billion of the total value of exports.
Copper products and other minerals were in the second and third places with $967.35 million and $471.8 million shares of the exports, respectively.
Meanwhile, 2.306 million tons of mining products worth $1.96 billion were imported during the mentioned seven months, indicating 11 percent and one percent rise in terms of value and weight, respectively.
Having 81 different types of minerals, including the world’s largest copper, zinc and iron reserves, Iran is one of the top 10 mineral-rich countries across the globe. In this regard, the Iranian government has been seriously pursuing several programs for promoting the mining sector as a major contributor to the country’s economic growth.
Iran’s proven iron ore reserves are 2.7 billion tons (about 0.8 of the world’s total reserves), while the country’s copper reserves are 2.6 billion tons (about 0.4 of the world’s reserves). The country also has 11 million tons of zinc reserves (about four percent of the world’s total reserves).
The total proven reserves of Iran’s mines are estimated at about 60 billion tons, which is expected to reach more than 100 billion tons with the implementation of the Industry, Mining, and Trade Ministry’s exploration programs over 500,000 square kilometers of new mineral zones.
Despite the country’s huge potential in this area, due to some issues like the lack of necessary machinery and equipment and the lack of access to financial resources and foreign investment because of the U.S. sanctions, the Iranian mining sector has been struggling to operate at its maximum capacity over the past few years.
So, the government programs for promoting this industry are mainly focused on relying on domestic sources for helping the mining sector overcome its current problems and hit its ideal targets.