0535 GMT March 24, 2018
Previously, Tajikistan was the only customer of Iran's alumina, but beginning from March 21, Azerbaijan also has started importing the product, Touraj Zare said, imidro.gov.ir reported.
The Islamic Republic has exported 20,000 tons of alumina to Azerbaijan and Tajikistan since March 21, he added.
Alumina is a refined version of the raw ore bauxite. The material is mainly used in aluminum metallurgy, industrial ceramics, and chemical processing.
Iran Alumina Company has produced 154,000 tons of alumina since March 21, which is 3.3 percent more compared to the figure for the preceding year, Zare said.
He added that plans are underway to raise the company's annual output to 245,000 tons by March 2018.
He further said that country's biggest proven reserve for bauxite is Jajarm bauxite mine in North Khorasan Province, which has about 36 million tons of bauxite.
Zare added that the figure is expected to increase to 50 million tons once the ongoing exploration operations undertaken by the company in the region are finalized.
Every four kilograms of bauxite yields 1.93 kilograms of alumina; while it takes 1.93 kilograms of alumina to produce one kilogram of aluminum.
Based on Iran's 20-Year Vision Plan, the annual production of aluminum is to reach 1.5 million tons by 2025.
Iran exported more than 39.1 million tons of mineral products worth $5.41 billion in the seven months from March 21-Oct. 22, indicating a 5.5-percent and 3.1-percent growth in tonnage and value respectively compared to the figures for the same period last year.
Mineral imports during the same period stood at 3.15 million tons valued at $2.44 billion, registering a 14.3-percent decline and a 4.7-percent increase in tonnage and value respectively year-on-year, according to the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO).
Semi-finished steel took the lion's share of exports in terms of value, as 4.66 million tons worth $1.66 billion were shipped overseas — up 14.8 percent in volume and down 9.5 percent in value YOY.
Large-scale Iranian steel mills produced 9.57 million tons of semis during the seven-month period — up 14 percent YOY — according to IMIDRO data.
Pottery, bricks, ceramics and tile shipments followed with 5.98 million tons worth $882.9 million — down 1.5 percent and 1.1 percent in trade volume and value respectively YOY.
Iron ore came next with 11.09 million tons worth $612.6 million. The volume and value of shipments recorded rises of 11.8 percent and 60.6 percent respectively YOY.
Following were copper and copper products with 319,800 tons valued at $330.9 million, down 38.2 percent and 37.3 percent in tonnage and value respectively.
Other exported mineral commodities during the seven-month period included 408,300 tons of steel products worth $294 million; 9.07 million tons of cement worth $336.4 million; 3.59 million tons of stones worth $220.4 million; 123,000 tons of aluminum worth $222.9 million; 120,300 tons of zinc worth $227.3 million; 496,200 tons of direct-reduced iron worth $129.2 million and 76,300 tons of lead worth $120.6 million.
Ferroalloy export reached 17,100 tons worth $29.2 million, which was followed by chrome with 139,000 tons worth $20.3 million; molybdenum with 2,400 tons worth $23.1 million; precious mineral (gold, silver, …) with less than 1,000 tons worth $16.8 million; coal with 139,900 tons worth $14.5 million; nickel with less than 1,000 tons worth $200,000; titanium with less than 1,000 tons worth $200,000; mica with less than 1,000 tons worth $100,000 and 'other minerals' with 2.78 million tons worth $267.3 million.
China was the main export destination for Iranian mineral products in terms of volume accounting for over 12.44 million tons of shipments worth $1.08 billion.
It was followed by Iraq with 7.44 million tons valued at $962.62 million; Afghanistan with 4.52 million tons valued at $562.26 million; the UAE with 2.84 million tons worth $411.36 million; India with 1.58 million tons worth $164.64 million; Kuwait with 1.23 million tons worth $69.38 million; Bangladesh with 939,710 tons worth $30.29 million; Pakistan with 848,720 tons worth $104.31 million; Oman with 797,160 tons worth $220.48 million and Qatar with 740,140 tons worth $26.06 million.
Mineral products exported to Thailand reached 727,250 tons worth $255.77 million and was followed by Indonesia with 575,020 tons worth $141.08 million; Italy with 538,050 tons worth $230.13 million; Turkmenistan with 428,420 tons worth $95.46 million; Taiwan with 389,620 tons worth $162.6 million; Turkey with 312,970 tons worth $305.45 million; Somalia with 299,190 tons worth $15.73 million; Russia with 298,550 tons worth $32.26 million and Egypt with 279,930 tons worth $81.3 million.