Natural bitumen mines are located in different parts of Iran, including Lut Desert, Zagros Mountains and the southern region of the Caspian Sea. Natural bitumen mines in Zagros are located in the three provinces of Kermanshah, Ilam and Lorestan.
Kermanshah is the first province of the country in terms of bitumen reserves and production. The most important natural bitumen mine in this province is Gilsonite Mud mine in Gilanegharb city.
Iran is one of the largest producers of natural bitumen in the world. The country produces more than 1.5 million tons of natural bitumen annually, which is used both domestically and internationally. Iran exports natural bitumen to countries like India, China, Turkey, etc. The production and consumption of bitumen in the world amounted to 125 million tons in 2021, and Iran, with its production capacity of more than 6 million tons of bitumen, had an 8% share of the global bitumen market.
Iran ranks 7th and 4th in the world in terms of bitumen production and export, respectively. The export of bitumen in 2021 has earned 1.5 billion dollars and accounted for 2.9% of the country’s total non-oil exports this year, and in terms of export value, it has grown by 73% compared to 2020