0249 GMT October 16, 2019
Deputy Director of Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation organization (IMIDRO) said that the projects would include a major aluminum smelter in southern Iran, reported Press TV.
Somayyeh Kholousi said the South Aluminum Project, planned to be opened in November in Fars Province, would seek to compensate for the reduced exports of aluminum from Iran over the past years.
The official said plans were in place to revive operations in some 150 closed mines across Iran in the upcoming months, adding that the projects would lead to permanent employment for around 3,000 workers.
She said the massive expansion of the mining sector in Iran would lead to an increase in the production of steel of up to 39 million tons a year while it would also increase aluminum production by three times.
Kholousi said a main goal of the expansion project is to increase the output for key products like copper cathode and graphite electrodes. She said Iran would import 50 percent less of graphite electrodes, a product widely used in the steel industry, next year.
She said the share of the net private investment in Iran’s mining industry had increased over the past 18 months to reach nearly $140 million.
Iran, a country highly rich in minerals and metal reserves, has sought to use the potential to offset the impacts of a series of American sanctions imposed on its oil industry.
Kholousi said the total investment expected to be injected to the mining sector in Iran until March 2022, when a current national development plan concludes, would top $16 billion.