Iran exports over $43.7 Bln. worth of Non-Oil commodities in a year. Iran is rich not only in oil and gas, but in mineral deposits’, as well. Iran has the world’s largest zinc reserves and second-largest reserves of copper. It also has important reserves of iron. Uranium, lead, chromate ,manganese, coal and gold .In

Iran is rich not only in oil and gas, but in mineral deposits’, as well. Iran has the world’s largest Zinc reserves and second-largest reserves of copper.  It also has important reserves of iron. Uranium, lead, chromate , Manganese, coal and gold .In addition to the major coal mines found in Khorasan Razavi, Kerman, Semnan, Mazandaran and Gilan, a number of smaller mines are located north of Tehran and in Azarbayjan and Esfahan provinces. 

Deposits of lead, Zinc and other minerals are widely scattered throughout the country. The mines at Sar Cheshmeh in Kerman province contain the world’s second largest lode of copper ore. The government owns %90 of all mines and related large industries in Iran and would like To attract foreign investment for the development of the mining sector. As per Article 44 of Constitution of Iran, the government has been actively promoting the privatization of all mines.

Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO) is the major state-owned holding company.
Although 90% of the country’s mines and related large industries are in state hands; the government has stated its intention to further develop the sector through private and foreign investment. Minerals targeted for investment include aluminum, copper, and iron ore. By the end of the current Five-Year Development Plan (FYDP), which began in 2010, the government expects to boost the mining sector’s contribution to GDP to 1.2% as well as boost total mineral production to 500 million tons. With 12% of the Persian Gulf region’s aluminum reserves, the implementation of development projects could boost production to 1.5 million tons by 2025 and turn Iran into one of the top 10 producers in the world. The private sector is also being mobilized to get the mining sector to work with modern equipment.

  • There are approximately 5,000 mines in operation in Iran, with 12 metals and 36 non-metal ores currently being exploited.
  • Increased investment and private sector involvement will see mineral production increase in the coming years as modern machinery and equipment are put to use.
  • Iran is one of the top 10 global producers of iron ore, with over 35 million tons of output per year.
  • Iran’s precious stones have become an object of admiration for onlookers as well as a profitable industry for the country as it aims to diversify its economic strengths.
  • As one of the 15 most mineral-rich countries in the world, Iran enjoys export links with 159 countries, including Iraq, China, the UAE, India, and Afghanistan. Mining products represent over 30% of the country’s non-oil exports, and the sector also employs 100,000 people directly and up to half a million indirectly.
  • Developments in the country’s base metals segment, including copper, aluminum, zinc, and lead, also continued over the last 12 months. Iran has the world’s biggest zinc reserves, second largest copper reserves, and ninth largest iron reserves.
  • Iran is also rich in zinc and lead, with over 220 million tons of proven reserves. Production remains below 200,000 tons for zinc and lead, with just under half exported.

Mines and Metals

Iran is also among the first countries of the world regarding Zinc, Plaster, Barite and salt mines. During the years of the 1st and 2nd Economic, Social and Cultural Development Plans of the Islamic Republic of Iran large amounts have been invested for the development and exploration of mines.

Some parts of investments made concern minerals which are used in local developed industries, and the application of some others is solely for the purpose of developing processed minerals export. Extensive explorations have been carried out, during recent years for discovery of the country's mineral reserves.

Long strides have been taken by the government toward amendment of rules and regulations governing activities in the mine sector, such as approval of the Mine Act at the Islamic Consultative Assembly, a move toward privatization of available mines, grant of the right of mine exploitation to non-government sector.

During the period of implementation of the two Development Plans, ownership of some mines have been transferred to the private sector and also some government mineral and industrial units have been privatized. Service and subsidiary mine sectors too, have moved in the course of privatization.

In the meantime, necessary licenses for exploration ,utilization and processing of minerals are awarded to applicants in the private secto, according to the Mines Act ,and the role of the government is limited in this respect.

Generally ,most mineral industries and, from the view point of numbers most mineral units are the inclination of this sector to investment in mineral areas shows an increasing trend. In year 1995 , from among the 2,450 mines in the country, 75% i.e. 1,850 mines were directly administered by the private and cooperative sectors. From the total mineral units in the country the management of 2.324 units (79.6%)of the total was private and 597 units (or 20.4% of the total)was under public administration. Projects carried out by the private sector till 1996 include: Semnan Ferro silica  factory ,decorative stones processing, granite tiles, kaolin washing, refractory, cast iron ingot production project, ferromolybdenum factory, Copper alloy production project, mineral powders processing and production (5 units), coal  powder processing and production (1 unit), mica powder processing and production (1 unit),salt powder processing and production (9 units),stone poeder processing and production (6units) ,aluminium ingot production project ,silica powder processing and production (1 unit), magneitite (1 unit), sodium sulfate (3 units), sand blast silica and gravel (5 units), granulated stone (1 unit), industrial minerals processing (many units).

Regarding the ownership composition of utilizing companies, 59.8% goes to the private sector, 19.3% to the cooperative sector ,9% to foundations of public sector, and 11.9% to banks and government institutions. The added value of mines (not considering mineral and metal industries and the oil and gas sector) comprised some 0.6% of the country's Gross National Product in 1996. Taking into consideration the added value of mineral and metal industries , the added value of the mines and metal sector would amount to about 4% for the same year.

In case of some minerals, the country's reserves are among the top rankings of the world (copper, zinc, plaster, barite, salt and stone); although these may also be exported raw after granulation and are competitive globally and regionally , but the high added value after processing ,makes the export at these materials more feasible from the economic point of view.

Some non-metal minerals in the case of which the value of the minerals is not so high as compared to the transportation costs will be surely competitive after processing.

In view of the global trade of minerals and metals, it is seen that the higher share is that of processed minerals in the form of metals and then that of non-metal minerals industries. The diversity of minerals in Iran and the high ranking of some of these minerals in the world is indicative of the competitiveness of these materials after processing for export to regional and international markets. Export in this sector, either directly in the form of raw mineral or processed in the form of mineral commodities and metals, has had considerable growth during the past eight years (from about 100 to 600 million dollars) and is considered as a major non-oil export item of the country.

Investment Facilities 
 %80 of the income from producing and mining activities ,which is derived and declared by producing  and mining enterprises of cooperatives of private sectors of whom exploitation licenses are issued , or with whom extraction and sale contracts are concluded, from the beginning of the year 2002, on words by relevant ministries ,shall be exempt from the tax set forth in the article 105 here of for a term of 4 years beginning from the date of exploitation or extraction the less developed regions ,the exemption shall apply to %100 of the income for a term of years.

The most important export of Iran

Industrial & minerals   Other export products
- Lead   - Tile, Ceramics, Brick
- Copper Cathode   - Industrial Valves
- Gypsum   - Baked Goods
- Iron & Profile   - Flooring
- Cement    
- Copper Tube    
- Ironstone    
- Gypsum    
- Crude Petroleum    
- Petroleum Gas    
- Refined Petroleum    
- Iron Ore    
- Refined Copper    
- Petroleum Coke    
- Asphalt    
- Raw Aluminium    
- Hot-Rolled Iron    

Construction Materials

Iran has a long history in the production of construction materials and non-metal mineral products. Resistant materials suitable to regional and climatic requirements have been produced by traditional methods and used over the centuries.
During recent years, production and export of various types of construction materials with high quality and acceptable standards have commenced and found their place in foreign markets.
Iran has numerous advantages in this industry, based on access to ample raw materials, suitable mineral reserves, low-cost manpower and energy.
This industry, utilizing new technologies, has achieved high qualities during the development plans of the country. Production capacities have also scored significant increase in this branch of industry.
During the recent years, there has been a great deal of change in the construction materials industry. Some parts of the machineries and a great portion of construction material industry are manufactured inside the country; currently having been installed and utilized in different production units.
These industries are interested in attracting partnership and foreign investments in the following cases for which all foreign investors are welcomed:

- Application of advanced technology;
- Training of skilled manpower for working with advanced machinery;
- Access to international markets and the sales networks;
- Establishment of new industries near to local raw material mines of each branch of industry;
- Modernization of the available machinery;
- Development of units for the production of raw materials required by the construction products industries

In view of the mentioned advantages and given the attraction of foreign investments are materialized, the export of construction products will have bright prospects. This field of production has the potential to turn Iran into a focal point in the region by presenting a variety of construction materials to the neighboring markets and other parts of the world.

Various Types of Tiles
Iran has a record of long history in the production of tiles and beautiful examples of such products are seen in the historical sites of this country.
In the past decade, considerable investments were made for tile production, mainly by the private sector. Utilizing new projects, Iran's ranking in the world in this branch of industry will rise among the top ten.
The variety of products from viewpoints of color, size and spectrum of productions qualities from medium to high, makes some types of Iranian tiles equal to the best in the world.
The competitive advantages of Iranian producers in this field at the global market include:

- Access to most of the raw materials required by the industry,
- Creativity;
- Management;
- Low-cost manpower,
- Low-cost energy;

Building Sanitary Appliances
Compared to the tile manufacturing industry, this branch is new in the country but still has competitive advantages at foreign markets. The export of these products has commenced during recent years, targeting the neighboring markets. The quality and price of these products are competitive and producing agencies have competitive advantages.

Various Types of glasses
Iran is capable of producing various types of glasses and mirrors for various uses, different in thickness, color and design, in Securit forms, including simple glass, ordinary and patterned, various types of colorful non-reflexive glass, sun-reflect glass, reflect glass, double-shell glass and curved glass.
Furthermore, the Iranian companies have recently successfully produced various types of glass through the floating method.
The variety of products as well as the comparative advantages which lie in ample availability of raw materials, low-cost energy and manpower, give a bright future for the export of these products. Various types of glass have been exported abroad during recent years.

Cement and Clinker
The production capacity of cement and clinker industry is increasing every year. There are comparative advantages in the country, among which one can mention availability of raw materials required by the industry, manpower, experienced management and low-cost energy. Cement production plants in Iran enjoy competitive advantages in neighboring countries, and especially clinker is an intermediate product which may be exported to neighboring countries. Export of cement has commenced during the recent decade.

Cement Pipes and Sheets
In view of the ample production of cement (as a main ingredient of this industry) in the country, this branch of industry is also advantages and has exports capacities.


Construction Stones

Iran has very rich reserves of construction stones. The wide range of construction stones including granite, marble travertine, and many other types of stones, has left the country with high potentials for local use and also for the purpose of export.
There have been technological changes in stone processing and new technology has been deployed in some mines and stone processing units, in which the most modern European-made machinery are utilized.

Different Types of Doors and Windows
Iranian companies, by deploying the most updated and modern machinery and technology, have been successful in production of various types of wood, steel and aluminum doors and windows including anti-theft doors, sliding and hinged doors and windows, double-shell windows and cabinets in different forms and designs, according to the latest models of the world.
Considering the properties of this industry, including production of the required materials such as profiles, metal sheet, smith, founder and locks by Iranian manufacturers, availability of expert manpower, low rate of energy, competitive prices and high quality of these products, some of which having obtained the quality certificate of European companies, Iran has been successful in the export of these products to the Central Asian, African states, the littoral states of the Persian Gulf and some European countries.

Chemicals Used in Construction Industry
Iranian companies having comparative advantages, such as availability of the required materials and deployment of the modern technology, have produced different types of paints, various concrete additives, different adhesives, concrete anti-freeze and molding oil and variety of adhesives for the working. These products have obtained national standards and ISO series standards as well as quality standards and have been exported to the Persian Gulf region, Central Asia and African countries as well as elsewhere in the world.

Hygienic Services
Iranian companies, benefiting from today's world technology and most advanced machinery, have successfully produced high quality hygienic services such as hygienic chinaware, different types of sinks made of steel sheet and polymer materials and glazed sinks as well, which are produced according to sanitary principles. Some of the most important products of these Iranian companies are: bathtub in various forms, hygienic services, towel rails in different forms, soap holders in various forms.

Other Construction Materials
Iranian companies, in addition to production of various types of facing brick and internal brick, blocks and pan tile, mosaics, concrete products, thermal and humidity insulators, have been successful in exporting the following high quality, standard products to the member countries of the ECO and the C.I.S., African countries and Persian Gulf regional countries.

                   Production History of Tiles & Ceramics In Iran

Generally speaking tiles and ceramics industry is as old as the history itself and deeply rooted in the nations' cultures. In fact, their varied designs, colours and fine arts decently reflect the historic traditions, customs and rituals of their makers who have now been reduced to dust.

Some Believe that this industry has originated from Egypt, however the supporting evidences certify that it is an Iranian native art. Namely, the oldest enamelled tiles found in ''Chaghazanbil'' temple of the Khouzestan province which dates back to the 13th century B.C. shows the antiquity of this congenital art.

Also, another Iranian master piece is a tile inscription, showing a soldier, belongs to the Darius era of Achaemenian dynasty which is being preserved in the Leuvre museum of Paris. In addition to their cultural aspects' the ancient peoples were doing business in tiles and ceramics as well as decorated potteries in the age of Sassanids.

Upon the advent of Islamic belief, most of Iranian artists who were aspired by the Islamic culture, started to develop new art crafts whose golden peak dates back to Illkhanian & Saldjughian ruling eras.

However, during the age of Safavid dynasty, Iran could develop the friendly socio-political ties with the Western Europe through which Iranian artists could visit the west and study European great artists' works. The result of such combinations was taking advantage of the European designs and aspirations. since then this art has always been boosting up to the present time.

Due to the sharp demand increase, traditional ways of production were gradually replaced by industrial methods since the first mechanized plants went on stream in 1950s.

Production Rates of Tiles & Ceramics In Iran
Main Production centers are located in the provinces of Tehran, Isfahan, Ghazvin, Yazd, Shiraz, Khorasan and Gilan in which around many mechanized units are working at present.

Today, most of our production plants, availing of European technology (mainly Italian and Spanish), modern equipment, automated sorting systems, ample raw materials of high quality, such as ball caly, kaolin, sand, quartz, lime, dolomite, magnesite and glazers as well as skillful workers produce excellent products for export. It is noteworthy that Iran is endowed with 75% of the required high quality raw materials while the same ratio for Spanish is 50% only.

Compliance with the international standards have enabled the Iranian producers to obtain various distinguished international certificates, medals and rewards such as ISO14001 and ISO 9002 from SGS, Golden Statue for Construction from Spain, Golden Cup from Italy, and the quality management Certificate from France.

In most of the local factories, production process for dual-baking wall tiles and single-baking floor tiles are based on the European standards of EN159 - Group BIII and EN177 - Group BIIA respectively. More over, dual-baking floor tiles ad trice-baking decorative tiles are also produced in certain plants.

            Friction resistance is based on PEI standard. Interestingly, production of granite ceramics which is based on EN106 - ASTMC- 279 standard, uses natural dyes and minerals rather than any chemicals and synthetic substances. 

Friction resistance is based on PEI standard. Interestingly, production of granite ceramics which is based on EN106 - ASTMC- 279 standard, uses natural dyes and minerals rather than any chemicals and synthetic substances.

Therefore, the resulting excellent properties such as high pressure resistance, high heat resistance, anti-acidity, high cold resistance and low water permeability are automatically emerged. Furthermore, precise quality controls and technical tests are frequently conducted by the competent experts and well-equipped local laboratories to maintain quality assurance of the productions.

Tiles and ceramics are produced in a variety of designs and according to the customers tastes and specified orders in the forms of matte, glossy, glazed, unglazed, decorated bricks, tile bricks at the normal sizes of 10*20, 15*20, 20*20, 20*30, 25*25, 17*28, 33*25, 33*33, 33*45, 28*40, 40*40, 50*50, and 60*40 centimeters.

It should be pointed out that paintings on tiles are also an old Iranian native art which fall in the category of ''Arabesque'', ''Flower and Bird'', ''Miniature'', ''Landscape'', and ''Hunting Scene'' which may be utilized for the holy shrine, mosques, the facade and the interior part of building such as fire-place, patio and kitchen.