Mahmoud Eslamian has two-decade experience of managing major steel companies such as Mobarakeh Steel Co. and Esfahan Steel Co in Iran. Likewise, he has held the post of Chairman of Isfahan Chamber of Commerce over the past decade. Currently, he is the Chairman of the Board of Directors in Iranian Steel Producers Association and the CEO of Civil Servants Pension Organization. His article in this issue of Mine & Business Today is a reflection of his views on privatization.

CEO of Arfa Steel Company, Ali Reza Khayat, maintains that technology is needed in all areas of production and should be sought. In his point of view, the world market resembles a running race. The ones who do not increase their running speed are destined to leave the tournament and get out of the market.
Having the experience of managing leading companies such as Khouzestan Steel Co. and Hormozgan Steel Co. in the past decades, he underlines that considering the challenges facing Iran in reducing energy and raw materials, the country has to take a step to do something.
According to him, using technology is not a luxury approach but a necessity, and it has to be compulsory to cut the costs.
"Arfa Steel Co. is in the Center of Iran and, for the time being, our market is considered domestic. If someday the roller manufacturers decide not to buy our ingots and start importing the product, we will defiantly be confronted by a serious problem. This happened in 2015 when
the cost of per kilo production of the ingot was 35 cents, and we had no choice but selling the product at the lower price of 25 cents," he clarified.
Referring to the impact of global prices on the raw materials of steel production, he noted, "The products such as graphite electrode, refractories, and ferroalloys are all offered at world prices.
Global turbulence has led to an increase in the price of the graphite electrode. Previously, the cost of purchasing per tonne electrode from German was €2500, but recently Khouzestan Steel Co. has bought the product at the price of €48,000. Unfortunately, it is not the end of the story, and the new price has reached $8,000."
Khayat admits that the global requirements will lead to an increase in the energy prices in Iran, as well.


Iran, currently, has 3% of lead and zinc reserves in the world ranking the country as the fourth largest producer of these mineral concentrates in Asia after China, Kazakhstan, and India. Likewise, the country is the second major producer after Turkey in the MENA region.
Anguran and Mehdiabad are referred as the two largest reserves of lead and zinc in Iran. Enjoying 9mt reserve of lead and zinc with 26% and 6% grades respectively, Anguran Lead and Zinc Mine, Zanjan province, provides the feeds of zinc and lead processing plants in the country.
As the oxidized reserves of Anguran are running out, meeting the needs of lead and zinc companies over the next few years will be challenging. At present, the total annual capacity of the zinc processing units, lead ingots, and lead and zinc concentrate in Iran is 480,00t, 420,000t, and 2mt, respectively. While the country managed to produce 700,000t lead and zinc concentrate, 142,000t zinc ingots and 72,000t lead ingots in 2014.


Water is an essential component in most mineral processing applications. Added to the process, it is mixed with solids, and at some point these two materials will have to be separated for reuse, disposal or sale as a product. With increasing scarcity, the cost of water is increasing and there is strong competition for its utilization. These competing forces are driving the need for a more efficient use of water in mining.
Tackling the tailing challenges
Taking risk in a tailings facility is counter intuitive to the industry trend of safety at all costs in their operations. Strategies that build stability into the placement of the waste are inherently better than strategies that rely on containment of wastes and deferment of rehabilitation.
Estimating low probability of failure and using discounted rates for closure can seem like a good financial strategy but this does not account for the resiliency of a company to survive a multibillion dollar cleanup. Risk management of tailings facilities is a complex challenging issue. Plans change and older facilities can face challenges unforeseen by the original designers. Population centers tend to build up around mine sites that were never there when planning began.
Ore bodies are discovered and new technologies substantially extend the mine life which may require substantial raising the walls of tailings facilities dams. The best solutions are stable by design and future proof and tailings strategies should be living documents adapting to realize performance, changing technologies and circumstances.
Recent developments in tailings filtration have substantially increased unit capacities making tailings filtration plants in the 50 to 100kt/d feasible for future plants requiring dry stacking of their tailings.
At Outotec, our mission is to take a holistic approach to every project with a design philosophy to provide the best possible solution and service support in terms of technology and system design.

Iranian Mines and Mining Industries are presenting a view of the opportunities provided for the development of the sector, as well as cooperation with foreign partners.
Despite the potential capacities of this sector, it was not involved actively in Iran’s economy over the past years.
For the time being, due to the efforts undertaken by the government, started over the past three years, the positive results are achieved. Since the second half of the current Iranian year (fourth-quarter 2016), the new plans are put into operation.
Consequently, the sector will witness the operation or set up of 42 scheduled projects located in various provinces. The plans include iron ore, steel, aluminum, gold, as well as infrastructure projects such as energy intensive zones, docks, and power plants to be carried out by July 2016.
On the other hand, Iran took another step forward international exchange which pleased the activists involved in the economic sector. Subsequently, domestic and international companies will be able to fully cooperate in technological, industrial, services and other mine-related fields. Besides, the problems identified in banking and financial systems are addressed.