Esmaili said Iran is currently the world’s 10th largest steel producer and the country is planning to rise to eighth place by 2025, IRIB reported.
The official said the Ministry of Industry has plans to increase the country’s steel ingot production to 55 million tons by 2025, for which 160 million tons of iron ore is required annually.
“Given the country’s 2.8-billion-ton iron ore reserves, we need new explorations in this field, because when the annual steel ingot production capacity reaches 55 million tons, the current production levels of iron ore can only supply the industry for 12 to 13 years,” the official said.
He further noted that over 90 million tons of iron ore were produced in the country during the previous Iranian calendar year (ending March 19), only seven percent of which was exported.
The ministry believes that the duty will encourage the production of more processed minerals such as pellets and concentrate instead of selling the raw minerals.
According to Esmaili, 10 years ago, Iran exported over 20 million tons of unprocessed iron ore, while the figure fell to a maximum of six million tons last year.
Iranian steelmakers produced 11.44 million tons of crude steel during the first five months of 2020, marking an 11.1 percent rise compared to the corresponding figure for 2019, which was 10.29 million tons.
According to figures released by the World Steel Association (WSA) in June, Iran cast 2.35 million tons of crude steel in May, showing an 8.9 percent increase compared to the figure for the same month of 2019, which was 2.16 million tons.
Iran produced 31.9 million tons of crude steel in 2019, according to figures released by WSA in January.
According to the Islamic Republic’s Vision Plan, the country’s total steel production capacity is to hit 55 million tons a year by 2025, with export figures expected to reach 10-15 million tons.