Highest and lowest growth in mining chain’s capacities and production

The government of Hassan Rouhani (2013–present) presented a performance report at the end of the first four-year presidential term. A part of the report looks at the production capacities in mine and industrial sector, particularly mining and its associated industries. The statistics suggest that steel and copper chains are the main contributors of the sector indicating the highest increase in the production capacity. The report compares the production capacities in 3.5 years, between September 2013 and April 2017, and reveals that copper concentrate (84%), iron ore concentrate (62%) and pellet (60%) enjoyed the highest growth. However, there was a slight decline in the actual production of iron ore concentrate to manage the demand.

The growth of the capacities in the sector is highly due to some significant factors including development plans, upcoming needs, as well as creating a balance in steel and copper chains. Over the last decade, the unbalanced production capacity of iron ore concentrate, pellet, and crude steel has caused problems for the supply of steel mills. In addition, with an increase in the production capacities, the government’s macroeconomic goals are pursued, and there will be a barrier at the export of mineral raw materials.
In Rouhani’s first four-year presidential term, the production capacity of aluminum ingots remained unchanged.Besides, Jajarm Aluminum and South Aluminum plans, the largest aluminum ingot project in Iran, are under construction and will become operational by the end of the next Iranian calendar year (starting on March 21).

Saturated industries
On the other hand, glass and glazing, cement, as well as ceramic and tile industries reached the lowest capacity growth due to hitting saturation point over the past years. Thus, the investment in the industries was less. For instance, cement production, which has surpassed the domestic demand, is only driven by exports or the growth of construction in the country. The same goes with the ceramic and tile sector.


Changes in actual production
On the other hand, the actual production of mine and its associated industries has faced some changes. The products of the sector, excluding ceramic and tile, cement and glass and glazing, maintained a growth. According to the report, the highest production boost is achieved in coal, pellet and crude steel sectors due to the development plans defined by the government in this areas. However, a recession in the consumption, principally in the construction sector, has led to a decline in production of iron ore concentrate, alumina, cement, tile, ceramics and glass. The production of iron ore in 2014 was defiantly more than that in 2013 and 2016, but the trend was downward in 2015-16.


Changes in production capacities of mining and industrial products

Product Unit September 2013 April 2017 Change (%)
Iron ore concentrate Million tonnes 28 45.5 62.5
Pellets Million tonnes 21.5 34.5 60.4
Sponge iron Million tonnes 18.7 27.7 48.1
Crude steel Million tonnes 23.5 31 31.9
Steel products Million tonnes 31 39 25.8
Aluminum ingots Thousand tonnes 457 457 -
Cathode copper Thousand tonnes 254 469 84.6
Copper concentrate Thousand tonnes 916 1130 23.3
Cement Million tonnes 77.5 83.5 7.7
Ceramic & Tile Million square meter 492 543 10.3
Glass & glazing Thousand tonnes 1577 1685 6.8



Changes in mining and industrial products

Product Unit September 2013 April 2017 Change (%)
Crude steel Million tonnes 15.4 18.01 16
Steel products Million tonnes 16.5 17.6 7
Iron ore concentrate Million tonnes 33.7  31.7 -5.9
Iron ore pellets Million tonnes  20.7  25.6  23
Copper cathode Thousand tonnes  188.6  193  2
Copper concentrate Thousand tonnes  3458  3631  5
Coal concentrate Thousand tonnes  921  1232  33.7
Aluminum ingots Thousand tonnes  299.4  340.1  13.5
Alumina Thousand tonnes  248.6  235.2  -5.3
Cement Thousand tonnes  71  54.05  -23
Ceramic & Tile Million square meters  300  292.2  -2.6
Glass & glazing Thousand tonnes  1189  728.4  -38