Discovered in 1969 and containing six major bodies of iron ore over 40 square kilometers, the Gohar Zamin Iron Ore Mine is estimated to contain over 1.1 billion tons of iron ore. Already laden with the know-how, the Gohar Zamin Iron Ore Company is undertaking an expansion of the mine in order to boost production up to 10 million tons of iron ore concentrate, 10 million tons of pellets, and the extraction of 15 million tons of iron ore per year. The mine is located 50 kilometers from Sirjan in Kerman Province, an area that has been popular with miners for over 900 years.The majority of ore at the site is located at mine number three, which contains an estimated 643 million tons in reserves. According to expansion plans, 210 million tons will be extracted from the open pit, while the remaining amount will be extracted by underground methods.The project is set to take place over two phases, the first of which envisages the establishment of a gyratory crusher, secondary crushers, as well as accumulating and offtake machinery and a crushed ore depot with a capacity for 15 million tons per year. The plan also foresees the establishment of two lines of concentrate plants each with the capacity for 2 million tons, or 4 million tons overall annually. Furthermore, a one-line pelletizing plant with the capacity for 5 million tons per year will be established. It is expected to begin operating a year after the iron ore concentrate plant commences operations. Phase II involves the creation of three concentrate production lines, each with a 2 million-ton capacity. A further pellet production line will also be established with enough capacity for 5 million tons per year. The expansion will take place over 911 hectares. The completed concentrate plants will then source iron ore from the number three mine. The extracted iron ore will then be fed into the entrance of the gyratory crusher by 150-ton trucks. This will result in crushed iron ore of 200 mm in diameter. The secondary crushers will then crush it down to 40 mm in diameter before it is stored in piles. Finally, it will be transferred by conveyor belt to five processing lines before eventually ending up on two pelletizing lines after passing through a magnetic separation machine and flotation and filtration cells.
The area, however, must first undergo further exploration, preparation, and equipment upgrades. Boreholes will be completed in order to finalize the open mine and complementary exploration. Pre-productive excavation will then be carried out at the mine, with around 140 million tons expected to be shifted by 2013. The mine will also be equipped with heavy machinery to carry out exploitation operations. It is expected that 60 million tons will be moved per year; 15 million tons of iron ore and 45 million tons of waste. Finally, the mine will be studied and necessary drainage will be established in order to stop the entrance of underground water into the mine. When complete, it should sure up Iran's status as one of the region's major iron ore producers and exporters.