Iran exported only 150t of titanium last year, generating revenues of just US$390,000, according to the ministry. The country has brought a major titanium mine online in the NorthWest of the country and now plans to develop processing capacity there, according to provincial officials.
Parisa Abedpour, deputy head of the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade in West Azerbaijan province, told the state-run IRNA agency that the Qara-Aghaj mine near provincial capital Urmia is now fully operational ahead of the planned construction of a processing plant.
Qara-Aghaj is estimated to have 208 million tonnes of titanium-bearing ore, with an average grade of 8.5%, according to historic exploration data gathered by the Iranian Society of Mining and Engineering.
The country only has one titanium slag plant in operation in Kahnuj in southeastern Kerman province, which has a production capacity of 130,000t/yr of titanium dioxide concentrate and 70,000t/yr of titanium slag.
The US in April renewed its determination from November 2019 that any sales to Iran of titanium, among other metals including chromium, nickel and 60% tungsten, were sanctionable as they are useful to Iran’s nuclear, missile, and military programmes.