Director General of Mineral Industries Office of the Ministry of Industry, Mining and Trade Seifollah Amiri said over 6500 stone processing units are currently active across the country, 500 of which are exporting to global markets.
According to Amiri, only seven percent of the country’s stone (both decorative and construction) mines have been scientifically surveyed and explored and the other 93 percent need to be surveyed and explored properly in order to tap into the significant potentials of this sector.
Speaking on the sidelines of the first exhibition of domestic production opportunities and manufacturing boom in Tehran, the official noted “Manufacturing the machinery in this area requires high-tech knowledge and the domestic production exhibition can provide a platform for the presence of knowledge-based companies in this field.”
Iran exported $350 million worth of decorative and facade stones during the past Iranian calendar year (March 2018-March 2019).
According to Rahmati the vice-president of the Iranian stone association, Iran is currently producing 13 million tons of such stones, cementing its place among the worlds’ top five countries in this industry.
Statistics suggest that the number of decorative and facade stone mines in the country exceeds 2,000, of which only 200 are currently active.
“The annual production capacity of the country's active mines is estimated at 30 million metric tons and these mines have created 380,000 job opportunities directly and indirectly,” Rahmati said.
The official noted that, based on a five-year plan for the country’s stone industry, the value of exports in this area was supposed to reach $2 billion, but this goal isn’t realized because the practical steps and support required by the ministry of industry did not take place.
“Iranian stone industry has high potential, proper reserves, color variation and superior quality compered to rivals, but it needs support and incentives to realize these potentials,” he added.
Mentioning the unjust U.S. sanctions, Rahmati noted that the country’s stone industry is obviously experiencing a though period, however the current hurdles can be eliminated with serious presence in different global markets, especially overseas exhibitions.
Iran’s first exhibition of domestic production opportunities and manufacturing boom kicked off at Tehran permanent international fairground on July 18.
The four-day exhibition is hosting 210 companies active in various fields like automotive and spare parts, household appliances, mineral industries, oil, gas and petrochemical industries, telecommunications and marine industries.
The exhibit is aimed at joining the country’s top manufacturers and producers in the industry sector with the academic and knowledge-based institutions in order to help them reach their great potentials.