The province ranks first in terms of the diversity of stones.
West Azarbaijan extracts 2 million tons of decorative stones annually. of which 40 percent are exported.
The province has 217 decorative stone mines. In the past two decades. Iran always ranked among the top five in extraction and production of decorative and faade stones. However. the country is not a significant exporter.
Last year. Iran produced 110 million square meters of decorative and faade stones. The figure is expected to reach 115 million square meters by mid-March 2015.
Iran s decorative stone mines contain 2.4 million tons of marble. travertine and granite.
The country extracts 20 million tons of unprocessed decorative and faade stones per annum and exports only 5 percent.
More than 6.000 stone-cutting units exist across the country. of which 50 percent are located in Tehran province.
In 2004. global demand for decorative stones amounted to 886 million square meters per year while it is estimated to reach 4.9 billion square meters per annum in 2025.