In spite of population growth, especially in last two decades, industry in Iran has found its course of development. Till mid-1950s, the industrial productions of the country were mainly food materials and textile products. Today, after four decades, huge increase in diversity and quantity of these products has happened. Since early 1960s, the extent of Iran's productions expanded. Some main chemical materials including chemical fertilizer, dyestuff and soap were produced. Development of electrical and mechanical industries in 1960s and 1970s and diversity of productions since 1960s were offspring of this expansion. The quantitative rate of structural changes of production sector in Iran, through supply of information regarding the distribution of added value production (M.V.A.) in main industrial branches, in the years of 1971-1994, which were gathered by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), indicate that production sector has been traditionally dependent upon those industries like textile, food materials (with beverages and tobacco products), and sectors related to transportation equipment, and their common contribution has been constant during the years 1974-1993.
During these years, important changes happened in these sectors, so that contribution of textile industries decreased from 20.5% to 14.6%, and the contribution of food industries and transportation equipment increased from 12% to 13.1% and from 8.6% to 13.1% respectively. At present, the main production sectors of the country are: non-metal mineral products (including ceramic and glass), metal industries (except machinery and equipment), and electrical and non-electrical industries. Each of these branches supplied more than 10% of total added value of production in 1993. The contribution of Industrial sector in GDP increased form 10% in 1981 to 14.5% in 1992 and this sector is developing with a gross rate more than average growth rate of national economy.
Iran was one of the main importers of steel in the years 1960s and 1970s. But today, it has become one of the famous countries in production and export of steel as well as creation of relevant technology in the world. According to planning made in recent years for export of steel, it is hoped that Iran will be one of the major exporters of steel in near future.
Increasing growth in production of zinc, sponge iron, ferrous alloys, refractory materials, and innovation of new production formulation in steel industry, production of light aluminum and creation of technology and know-how inside the country, all seemed impossible by reputable international experts. At present, foreign currency needed for production of 1 ton of steel has decreased from US$180 to less than US$70.
The industry of exploitation of decorative stone quarries, which once was done by old methods like explosion, has changed to one of the most developed industries through making use of modern technology. Today, metal and mineral products of Iran including alloys of different metals, are exported to industrial countries of the world like Japan, South Korea, China, Italy, and other industrial countries.
The large plants of mines and metals in the country are:
National Iranian Steel Company, Isfahan Steel Mill, Khuzestan Steel Complex, Mobarakeh Steel Complex, Sarcheshmeh Copper Complex, Fariab Mines Company, Iran Aluminum Company (Arak), Almahdi Aluminum Complex (Bandar Abbas), Jajarm Bauxite Plant, Iran Alloy Steel Company (Yazd), Golgohar Iron Ore Complex (Sirjan), Chadormaloo Iron Ore Complex, and...