Iran’s natural bitumen mines are located in the west of the country in the three provinces of Kermanshah, Ilam and Lorestan, in the cities of Kermanshah, Gilangharb, Somar, Ilam and east of Lorestan province. Gilsonite mines have been opened and exploited since 1372 in Iran after the Iran-Iraq war, which were known as coal in the early stages. Kermanshah province is the first province of the country in terms of the amount of mineral reserves and bitumen production, and among the famous natural bitumen mines of Iran in this province, we can mention the Maad Gilsonite mine in Gilangreb city.
The existence of areas such as Shek Maidan, Naft Shahr, and Cham Imam Hassan, etc., all indicate the existence of known sources of mineral bitumen from the distant past in Kermanshah province, Gilangreb city. Kermanshah province is the first and Ilam is the second province in the country in terms of the amount of mineral reserves and natural bitumen production, and Gilangreb city also has the largest amount of natural bitumen reserves in the province. The most important bitumen mines of Kermanshah province are located in Gilangreb, such as Mad bitumen mine.
In the figure below, the graph shows the amount of bitumen and natural and synthetic asphalt produced by the refineries of the 10 largest producing countries in the world
It was drawn during the years 2008 to 2016. According to this chart, during these years, China has an integrated production process
Ascending and 19.3% of the world’s bitumen and asphalt production, it ranks first and it is predicted that this trend will
The rise will continue in the coming years. The United States of America ranks second with an almost constant trend and with a small difference to China with a share of 17.5% of world production. Of course, this country suffered a decline in 2015
It has suddenly become severe, but after that it has resumed its previous trend. Russia until 2014 production trend
has been stable, but with the production of 20,358 thousand tons in the year 2015, it suddenly made a significant jump and returned to the path
The previous one is back. Our country Iran also ranks sixth in the world with a share of 3.4% of the world’s production
Germany, South Korea, Turkey and Singapore are in the next ranks. Among Asian countries, China, Russia and
In terms of bitumen and asphalt production, India is in a better situation than Iran, and due to more production, they may be serious and dangerous competitors for Iran in terms of export volume and as a result of taking over the target markets, especially in the Asian continent and the West Asian region.
Meanwhile, in order to be able to pay attention to the problems and issues of this product, to the most important challenges and obstacles
We mention production:
1- Lack of machinery and lack of financial resources
One of the main problems caused by the international sanctions in the mining sector has been related to the supply of the necessary tools and equipment as well as their renovation, because the costs related to this sector and the use of new technologies have increased the final product price. increases.
2 – Selling raw bitumen
In the absence of conversion industries and the import of processed products from bitumen to the country with many times the currency
One of the problems that exists is that instead of creating conversion factories for this mineral (bitumen), materials
We add that it is produced from the same bitumen that is in the country, but it remains unknown and neglected in the country. why to
Instead of creating bitumen conversion and processing factories in the country, this mineral should be sent to other countries in raw form
Exported and processed products from it to be returned to the country with multiple currency? Why are we importing materials that are produced from our same bitumen?
More than 3 thousand tons of toners are consumed in Iran every year. This value is about 0.6 percent of global consumption and is interesting
The raw material of this toner is bitumen, which we sell to the Chinese in high and cheap tonnage and buy again in kilograms and expensive, and this means the exit of wealth and currency from the country.
3- Failure to use bitumen on time after extraction
This material must be used after extraction, because otherwise it oxidizes and eventually loses some of its properties, in this way, when there is no buyer, extraction does not make sense, and this issue conditions for miners. makes it harder
4-Technology with old and not updated technology
Most of the exploitation of these mines is traditional and the exploitation methods of these mines should be optimized. By removing the reserves from these mines and moving to the depth to extract bitumen, it becomes more difficult to extract the mineral, because the upper and lower levels of the mine are loose and many problems arise for extracting the mineral. Meanwhile, bitumen exploration methods are special and the country’s mines, such as the mines of Kermanshah province, must be equipped with modern and new machines.
5 – Inadequate conditions for the sale of mineral bitumen
The natural bitumen mines of Kermanshah province had good conditions until 2013, the price of their products was economical and made the mining activity economical, but with the passage of time and the stagnation in the country’s mines, the situation has completely reversed. The profit of this mineral has been greatly reduced. Also, the tightening of sanctions and the spread of the outbreak
Corona virus has become the reason.
6- Local and legal problems of exploitation
The operators of these mines are facing various problems such as local opponents as well as legal problems
Unfortunately, it complicates the entire investment process. On the other hand, harvesting from the mines of this province in an open, traditional way.
It is done non-technically and unsafely.
7-Taxes and Article 54 of the Law of the Sixth Development Plan
Article 54 of the Law of the Sixth Development Plan states that 1% of the sales of mining companies must be deposited into the national treasury, while it would have been better to review this article in the presence of mining activists in the private sector before approving it. Because the implementation of such an article will have very serious consequences for the mining sector. The miners of Kermanshah province are very worried about the implementation of Article 54 and they do not see the implementation of this article as good for the mining sector at all, because they believe that this type of tax does not match the goal of developing mining and mining industries.
8- Non-allocation of necessary credits and non-attraction of technical personnel,
To discover the potentials, working traditionally and not wanting to attract technical forces, not allocating the necessary and sufficient credits to conduct mineral studies and the potentials of Kermanshah province, the location of most mines in deprived and inaccessible areas and the need to spend high costs on the road It is one of the obstacles that stand in the way of the production of this product before production.
9- The lack of proper infrastructure and the high cost of transporting minerals
Non-availability of suitable infrastructures due to the mountainous nature of the region and the high cost of transporting materials
Mine is one of the other reasons for the production of bitumen in Gilangreb.
10-Some natural bitumen mines are alien to technology
In our country, no one does special and important work for the production of this product.
11- Lack of capital and investors
The lack of capital and investors has caused this type of important product not to be used in the country. Why so
Investing in the industry and mining sector is time-consuming and high-risk, as well as investing in the mining sector
It faces many problems such as natural resources and environment, which has made it less popular with investors
take In the field of natural bitumen reserves, proper exploration work has not been done so far and most of those who work in this sector
They pay and have little capital. Compared to other mines in Iran, these mines have very little income generation, which is perhaps one of the reasons for not investing in this sector.
12- Not having access to the consumer market
Lack of access to the consumer market is one of the other obstacles to the production of this product.
13 – Fraud of some brokers and traders in the export of natural bitumen by profiteers
The biggest problem is that this material is mostly exported and is less used inside the country
Takes. Most foreign countries, as the best buyers of this material, have stopped buying it for some time. Because in Meta-Sefane, some profit-seeking people used to put the black substance inside the natural bitumen and sell it to the customers, which caused them to lose their trust in this Iranian product and stop buying this mineral.
14- Existence of brokers and importers in this field
Aster Toner Factory operates as the first toner producer in the country, but its products do not sell much in the market.
Because the hands of dealers and importers are still involved in importing toner at a lower price.
15- Fluctuation of the dollar rate
The absence of a clear and available exchange rate and its high fluctuations have deprived the mining operator of the opportunity to be present in the international market
It greatly increases the risk. Also, this problem may cause the loss of the mineral product export market in the long run and its capture by regional competitors.
Also, due to the long-term nature of this industry, it is not possible for the investor to change the production process and structure, and the fluctuation of economic rates can cause economic activists to become unmotivated. Although the increase in the exchange rate is an incentive for the country’s mineral exporters, but due to the lack of access to financing methods, it makes it difficult for the economic active to access modern and efficient mining machinery, and on the other hand, the mandated setting of the exchange rate at a lower value than The equilibrium rate also targets the economic advantages of production. In such a situation, it is necessary for policymakers to have a real understanding of the conditions of hardship in the absence of stability of economic variables.
16 – Recession
Bitumen mines in Kermanshah province have been facing stagnation since 2012 and some have been closed. Some of the reasons for this recession can be attributed to the lack of a consumer market, the fluctuation of the dollar rate, and the embargo.
17 – Local opponents, little banking facilities
Local opponents, environmental regulations, natural resources and small banking facilities are the main problems and obstacles on the way to capital
Investing in different sectors including mines.
The development of mines to overcome sanctions and economic pressure caused by reducing dependence on oil and relying on non-oil revenues is one of the most important and major programs of the government. In the meantime, attention to natural bitumen in the last few years should be more
be taken into consideration. But unfortunately, not paying attention to this important potential like other God-given capacities is problematic
It has been created to identify and extract mineral resources. Therefore, paying attention to the issue of identifying and extracting these mines as well as supporting the miners is an important issue that should be placed at the top of the planning of the economic and industrial authorities of Kermanshah province as soon as possible, because currently the raw material exit and the lack of processing of these resources, by itself ,
The cheap exit of resources leads to the loss of important employment and economic capacities.
The development of this industry will create thousands of jobs in the country. Conducting scientific exploration, basic exploitation,
Processing and converting raw materials into quality products, part of the proposed solutions to increase the bitumen industry’s share in growth
are considered economic of the country.