Gilsonite is an important and highly applicable substance that many countries try to raise their Gilsonite exports or imports to meet their demands. In the following,
we will discuss the substance properties, uses, and Gilsonite exports and imports in the world.
This black mineral and natural bitumen, Gilsonite, has about 70 to 80% of carbon and a few percent
of nitrogen and sulfur and its impurities are generally silicate, lime, gypsum and clay.
Why countries are interested in Gilsonite exports?
According to the reports, bitumen has more than 160 types of industrial applications and can be a part of petroleum and solid oil derivatives.
In the United States and Canada, they produce gasoline and diesel through cracking and Gilsonite.
It has also many applications in the production of computer printer powder, graphite and charcoal electrodes, adhesives and chemical industries, paints, rubber industries and in steel industries instead of soot and black carbon. In addition, this material has also some uses in asphalt, refinery bitumen and isogum industries, and its micronized powder is applicable in drilling industries (drilling mud and cement) as a lubricant, lighter and sealant. That’s why countries tend to raise the volume of Gilsonite exports and imports.
Gilsonite exports in the world
In Iran, natural bitumen or Gilsonite is mostly for isogum; however, they export more than 90% of it in raw form to other countries.
Moreover, Iran has a high export volume to Malaysia, India, Germany, Ukraine, Turkey and China.
Needless to mention that Iran is the third richest bituminous country in the world.
To be more specific, the largest bituminous mine in the Middle East is in Ilam, Iran.
The mining expert of the Industry, Mining and Trade Organization of Ilam Province says:
The United States, Canada, Venezuela, Russia, Australia, Iraq and Iran have huge and
major sources of Gilsonite or natural bitumen in the world.
Importantly, Iran has the third-largest reserves of bitumen after the United States and Canada.
To put it differently, more than 15% of this mineral in the world is present in Iran and mainly in
the western provinces of the country, especially Ilam, south of Kermanshah and east of Lorestan.
As the final point, there are three active bitumen mines in Iran from which experts
extract about more than 15,000 tons of bitumen annually. Besides, Iran exports this substance only in powdered form;
however, with more support from miners and the establishment of bitumen-dependent
conversion plants Iran can increase the value of this product in the country many times over.