Iran’s production of iron ore pellets, a main feedstock for steelmakers, has risen by 23% year on year in March-December last year, according to figures by the state-run metals and mining company IMIDRO.
IMIDRO figures cited in a Monday report by the IRIB News showed that iron pellet output by nine major companies in Iran had reached nearly 28.65 million metric tons in the nine months to December 21.
Nearly a third of output recorded by IMIDRO over the period, which was more than 9.34 million tons, came from Golgohar Mining & Industrial Co, the company that controls Iran’s largest iron ore field in the country’s southeast.
IMIDRO figures showed that iron ore producers had increased their supply of pellets to domestic steelmakers by 10% over the March-December period to nearly 14 million tons.
Output rose by 17% in the calendar month to December 21 against the previous month to reach just over three million tons as supplies provided to Iranian steelmakers increased by 14% month on month to over 1.85 million tons, said IMIDRO.
Iran was facing a shortage of less than 10 million tons of iron pellets per year in 2015 when total annual pellet output was just over 20 million tons.
Boosted output of iron ore pellet has led to higher exports of steel from Iran while allowing iron ore companies to earn more from direct shipments of ore to customers in Asia and elsewhere.
Experts believe that continued growth seen in Iran’s metals sector in recent years is a byproduct of US sanctions on the country’s sales of crude.
The sanctions imposed since 2018 caused the Iranian government to massively increase its investment in mines and in metals companies as the sector has a high potential for creating jobs and boosting the country’s foreign currency revenues through increased exports.