Two large coal and iron ore reserves have been discovered in Iran, according to a top official.
The claim by Mehdi Karbasian, Deputy Minister of Industry, Mines and Trade, was reported on Tuesday in the country’s state media, Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA). Karbasian, who is also chairman of the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO) told IRNA that 200 million tons of iron ore reserves and 120 million tons of coal reserves respectively were discovered in the Sangan mine, in the eastern province of Khorasan Razavi, during the first half of the current Iranian calendar year, which begins within a day after March 21 of the Gregorian calendar.
The discovery adds to “huge reserves of high-quality iron ore in the country’s central Lut Desert” found last year, according to IRNA.
More detail was provided on Sangan in a paper given at a tailings waste conference in Vancouver, Canada, in 2011, which studied tailings disposal options at the mine:
The Sangan iron ore deposits form part of the east-west trending Kuh-e-Taleb mountain range, and in the Khorasan-Razavi Province in north-eastern Iran (Figure 1). The deposits lie approximately 300 km south of the city of Mashhad, 30 km west of the Afghanistan border and some 18 km north-east of the Sangan town. The deposits can be accessed from Mashhad via two separate ways, one via Torbat Heydariyeh and the other via Torbat Jam.
Iran was the 10th largest iron ore producer in 2012, according to the USGS, when it extracted 28 million tons of the steelmaking ingredient. MINING.com reported the same year that while there is no formal ban on the iron ore trade with Iran, ranking sixth in terms of exports, shipping firms and traders in Europe nevertheless are balking at the financial and political risks in dealing with the country, considering US-led sanctions over its nuclear program.