Research and Development
The importance of building stone
The stone industry in Iran has ancient roots throughout history. Over time and the passage of the stage of initial use of stone, the color and texture of the stone were gradually considered and thus the stone was considered not only to cover the floor or surface of buildings and walls, but also as a factor in beautifying buildings.
Decorative stones are known by various names around the world. In Iran, these stones are known as decorative stones, cuttable stones, surface stone, facade stone, cope stone and plaque stone. In the field of building stones, the word “granite” includes all coarse-grained igneous rocks as well as gneiss and coarse-grained schist; “Sandstone” refers to quartzite and some granular limestones; And “marble” includes all non-porous carbonates that can be polished. In addition, several other trade names are also used; Such as travertine (used for any porous limestone), ash (tuff), and sapphire (usually basalt, but the term can also include some slates). Due to the special position of Iran in terms of having valuable resources and reserves and unique quality of various decorative stones, the major global stone markets of countries such as China, India, Italy, etc. have always been Iran’s business associates in this field.
The presence of powerful competitors such as China and India (which are a major part of the market for this product by focusing on supplying stone at a more competitive price), the lack of utilization of modern and up-to-date technology, which will have a significant impact on meeting the expected quality standards of customers.
the weak liquidity of production and export companies and consequently the inability of these companies in technological investment and traditional management dominance in most stone processing units are one of the most important factors affecting the low share of stone exports in Iran.
Building stone exploration
In the past, because the owners of building stone mines did not have the desire and knowledge to use technology in mining, they used to study the mines as a master (surface exploration) and begin to extract.
The exploration of building stone mines did not seem to be an important issue. But now, due to the arrival of technology into the country, which leads to an increase in the level of literacy of mine owners on the one hand and an increase in mining costs on the other hand; The need for exploration operations seems very important and vital.
Exploration of building stone mines is important from the following aspects:
- Reduce mining risk
- General and accurate knowledge of mines and rocks
- Reduce the cost of reopening the mine
- Reduce the cost of extracting building stone
- Reduce production waste
- Reduce the cost of the final product and be competitive in the market
- Possibility of calculating on-site stone storage and concluding long-term contracts
- Possibility to find the consumer market of the produced waste or parallel markets of the final product produced
Extraction of building stone
According to the world ranking in terms of reserves of decorative stones, Iran is ranked fourth, but due to technical weakness in the processing of decorative stones, it has not been able to gain a good share of the export market of this mineral.
Countries that have a major share in global markets have high technology in the extraction. One of the most important determining factors in the economic efficiency of decorative stones is the extraction methods and technology. One of the important parameters in choosing the appropriate method for extracting building stones is knowing the type of cut stone and its physical and mechanical properties. One of the important tools used in this regard is the cutting wire. The use of this technology has been developed in most mines of the world and has special advantages over other cutting techniques such as parallel pit mining and blasting. Today, according to the law prohibiting the use of explosives, diamond cutting wire and expanding chemicals are the most common methods of extracting decorative stones in Iran.
Factors influencing the selection of the optimal extraction method are:
- Geological features
- Economic infrastructure of the region
- The amount of storage
- Combination of methods: In a mine, depending on the topography and type of mineral and other factors, it may be more economical and appropriate to use one or two methods simultaneously.
- Possibility of using tailings: Due to the fact that today, tailings produced in mines can be used to make stone products if they are of good quality. For example, in the waste heat generated method, the quality is very low and can not be used.
- Country laws and regulations
- Quality or rarity of stones
- Economic justification
- Type of use
Building stone processing
In different parts of Iran and in different provinces, you can find stone ores, each of which has a remarkable rank in terms of variety, quality, storage or color.
Each of the decorative stones has its own characteristics and it is possible to invent new applications of them in many industries. In achieving these goals, we can mention the role of creative people and entrepreneurs who, by accepting the investment risk by producing new products, will provide the ground for market development. But one issue that should not be overlooked is the fact that in many stone provinces in the country, raw material sales are a priority, while processing units can improve the quality of stone production by promoting greater employment and Development in the province.
In fact, the lack of stone processing plants, especially decorative stones, causes these types of stones, which also have significant added value, to be transported raw and at a low price for processing, which must be done with coherent planning and using Facilities and government support to establish decorative stone processing plants.