Iran’s state-owned miners raise iron ore output by 9.6%

State-owned miners in Iran produced 25.45 million tonnes of iron ore between March 2012 and January 2013, the Information Network for Iran Production & Trade reported this week.

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This is a year-on-year increase of 9.6% for the period from March 20 to January 19, the first ten months of the Iranian year, the government-affiliated news agency said.

Full-year output is expected to reach the target level of 30 million tonnes.

Iran’s state-owned iron ore miners, which exploit the largest iron ore mines in the country, have been increasing their output steadily in recent years, driven largely by increased demand from local steelmakers and attractive export margins.

This has meant an increase in output levels of about 50% over the past five years, despite tightening restrictions from international trade sanctions.

In the Iranian year 1386 (from March 2007 to March 2008), the country’s state-owned miners produced about 21 million tonnes of iron ore, according to the Iranian Mines & Mining Industries Development & Renovation Organisation (Imidro).

There is no formal data available for production of iron ore by private miners in Iran. Estimates suggest that current output is about 10 million tpy.

Iran has geological reserves of about 4 billion tonnes, the largest deposit of iron ore in the Middle East.