Some 2 billion tons of proven iron ore reserves have been so far discovered in Iran, a senior mining sector official said Sunday.
The English-language daily Iran Daily on Monday quoted Mostafa Moazzenzadeh, chairman of the Mining Development and Renovation Organization, as saying that systematic exploration operations carried out by the organization are expected to raise the amount to three billion tons by 2010.
The growth in China's demand for iron ore as well as the three-fold jump in the international mineral transportation costs have made the development of the mining sector and optimum exploitation of existing reserves a necessity for the government.
According to him, 11.5 million tons of iron ore were mined last year. Noting that the iron ore production capacity will hit 16.8 million tons by March 2005, the official said 40 million tons of iron ore have to be extracted to produce the targeted 25 million tons of steel per year.
Iran's Ministry of Industries and Mines has pledged to supply 65 percent of the financial requirements of the exploration projects, IRNA reported. (menareport.com)
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