0826 GMT January 21, 2018
Mahmoud Mesrinejad further said a pelletizing unit with the annual capacity of four million tons will be constructed in the complex, IRNA reported.
CMIC needs investment to the tune of $180 million for constructing the unit, said the official adding that the process of attracting foreign investment has already begun.
Mesrinejad stated that the project will be implemented in four years once his company attracts the required finance.
He pointed to the construction of two rolling units with a total annual capacity of 1.1 million tons and said that $70 million has been envisaged for the project.
"To provide the required liquidity of development projects, CMIC will use its assets as well as foreign investment," the official said adding that the rolling units will be set up in three years.
Mesrinejad put the progress of direct reduce sponge iron plant project at 83 percent and predicted that the national project will be launched in the coming months.
CMIC is the main iron ore concentrate producer for iron making by direct reduction in Iran.
Besides iron ore concentrate, the company produces up to one million tons per year of crushed iron ore for use in blast furnaces in Iran as well as for export.
In August, Iran's Department of Environment issued a permit for CMIC to initiate exploration operations in the iron ore-rich D19 geological layer, the head of Iran Mine House, Mohammadreza Bahraman announced.
CMIC's current iron ore reserves are expected to run out in about six years and the anomaly located close to the company's current mines is seen as its only salvation.
"Considering the huge investments undertaken [in CMIC] for completing the steel production chain, resurveying the iron ore reserves in mineral zones around Chadormalu was necessary. The new understanding between Chadormalu and DOE will make a clear-cut assessment of D19's reserves possible," Bahraman said.
The importance of the new agreement lies in the fact that a dispute between CMIC and DOE over the D19 anomaly had been going on for well over a decade.
Located in Yazd Province, the zone holding new potential reserves is part of a protected area that is home to the Asiatic cheetah and the Persian leopard. Protected areas in Iran are managed by DOE and its consent is mandatory for any activity in the zone.
Chadormalu has made pledges to DOE to safeguard the zone's environment, an official at CMIC said.
"Our other mine is already operational in close proximity to the anomaly and we have taken measures to protect the environment there," he said.
CMIC has reportedly created 80 hectares of green space around its main mine that is located 180 kilometers from Yazd city.
The company has the capacity to produce 10.5 million tons of iron ore concentrate, 3.4 million tons of pellets and two million tons of steel per year.
It is one of the Middle East's largest iron ore concentrate producers, which reached an output of 9.05 million tons of the material during the year to March 20, according to statistics released by Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization.
Chadormalu's main stakeholders are Omid Investment Management Group with a 39.17 percent stake, Mines and Metals Development Investment Company with 16.6 percent and Mobarakeh Steel Company with 8.23 percent.
The company's continued production is also essential for Iran's steel expansion program. The government aims to turn the steel industry into the world's sixth largest manufacturer as per the goals of the 20-Year Vision Plan (2005-25), which stipulates the production of 55 million tons of crude steel. Over 150 million tons of iron ore are required, to achieve this figure.