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Zistagilsonite; Iranian supplier of gilsonite

October 26, 2020 - 15:41

ZistaGilsonite started its activities in 2008 as a division of Zista Group with supply of the rare mineral of Uintaite also called natural bitumen or Gilsonite from Iran.

What is Gilsonite?
Gilsonite also called Uintahite is a special kind of natural bitumen categorized as solvable natural bitumen in oil matters. There are over 20 types of natural bitumen discovered in the world, but among them only two kinds are difficult to fuse (safe to apply without combustion) and also has a high content of natural bitumen within which is solvable in oil based solvents such as CS2, TCE.

Suppliers of Gilsonite in the World
Reserves of natural bitumen are spread around the world in more than 25 countries mostly in presence of Crude Oil reserves nearby such as Iran, USA, Trinidad, Albania, Colombia… and they have been being exploited for more than 100 years for different applications. But among all the resources discovered for natural bitumen worldwide, Gilsonite reserves can be only found in Utah State of USA and Kermanshah province in Iran.  

Reserves of Gilsonite has not been exactly estimated in Iran, but according to primary estimations, Iran should have over 10,000,000 MT of Gilsonite reserves putting Iran as the owner of Largest reserves of Gilsonite worldwide. Still the international supply from Iran comes second with 40,000 MT per year after USA Gilsonite Export of over 100,000 MT annually.

Iranian Gilsonite Suppliers

Even though Iran owns the majority of the resources for this unique material, still supply of Iran Gilsonite faces several challenges causing it to be less than its true potential in quantity and value both. Some key factors regarding Iranian Gilsonite Suppliers are as below:

- Exclusive Mining Operations: Considering the special geography of the mine areas and also bordering unsafe areas with Iraq, mining Gilsonite in Iran is a challenging task. This has caused only few local miners to be able to adapt to the situation and gradually through paperwork and limited license issuance, the exploitation of Gilsonite has become an exclusive business among few miner owners in the past years, which instantly has reduced the quality and quantity of mining along with illogical price increases to provide highest workable margins for the miners without considering the long term market value of natural bitumen.

- Primitive Mining Technics: During Gilsonite mining in Iran, veins are NOT mined separately and they are mixed together at the mine site, therefore the steadiness of quality from the mines are either questionable or at least relevant to the worst quality mined.

- Mini-Suppliers: Every technical item such as Gilsonite, requires a supplier with technical abilities to handle the sourcing and sales along with the proper financial background to make long term investments. Iranian Gilsonite suppliers, mostly lack both factors and except a handful of companies with real capabilities to handle a proper Gilsonite supply, most of the suppliers are basically one man companies with access to internet for advertising and attracting buyers through providing extremely low prices. The long term results of having Mini-Suppliers is variety of quality claims, financial and fraud problems along with decrease of interest in Iranian Gilsonite as the purchasing seems risky to international buyers.

- Unfair Sanctions against Iran: USA unfair sanctions against Iranian people has caused many economical losses including loss of export markets in many cases including Gilsonite Markets in Europe and American Continent as buyer companies tend to avoid risking claims from bank and other authorities, therefore passing on to American Gilsonite instead of Iran Gilsonite – even though Iran Gilsonite is much more competitive – and dropping sales quantities from Iran.

To overcome the above mentioned obstacles ZistaGilsonite has made many steps in order to create value and expand the market for Iran Gilsonite as below

ZistaGilsonite; Iranian gilsonite supplier

1- Upstream Investment in Mining Operations:

By making high risk investments into Unexploited material along with assisting miners on purchasing machineries as a part of their fixed capital, ZistaGilsonite has been able to secure a large portion of supply against the monopoly created by miners and has the chance to store enough Gilsonite Lumps through the dry seasons in order to have enough stock for the raining seasons when exploitation is slow and prices are skyrocketing.

2- Processing and Packaging Facility:

Considering more than 50% of Iranian Gilsonite export to be in powder form, it is necessary for any Gilsonite supplier to have in house powdering and packaging facility to handle the powder orders with steady quality and on time delivery. By having 100% ownership of a powdering facility with more than 5,000 sqm area near the mining area, we have been able to secure a steady input for the factory while controlling the quality of the output as per clients’ requests at the same time.

3- Research Center:

To differentiate ourselves from mini-suppliers and in order to be dominant on the supply chain, understanding and knowledge of the material itself is necessary which ZistaGilsonite has obtained through creating its own research facility for checking quality aspects of the cargoes manufactured along with studying the nature of the Gilsonite more effectively.

4- International Presence:

For providing most convenient commercial approaches, ZistaGilsonite has set up several supply centers around the world in order to be able to respond to client needs and provide solutions to their possible problems on site. Also having ready stock assist in overcoming the unfair US sanctions against Iranian exports and provides safe commercial procedures for international clients to purchase Iranian Gilsonite.

Products that are manufactured at ZistaGilsonite facilities are summarized as below:


Offered Grade

Oil Based Drilling Fluid Additive

NB-OI 210

Oil Well Cementing

NB-OI 100

Asphalt Binder – Gilsonite Sealer

NB-BA 410

Bitumen Blending

NB-BA 310

Bituminous Membrane Filler

NB-BA 420

Foundry Sand Additive

NB-FS 500

Ink Industry

NB-IP 600

Gilsonite packaging in ZistaGilsonite Facilities:

At ZistaGilsonite, we have numerous packaging options and solutions in order to meet the diverse requirement from the end-users worldwide. Packaging availabilities are as below

Package Weight



25 Kg

Polybags Bags

Insider Nylon

25 Kg

Paper Sacks


1 MT

PP Jumbo Bags

Insider Nylon

800 Kg

25 Kg Polybags inside Jumbo Bags


800 Kg

25 Kg Paper Sacks inside Jumbo Bags


800 Kg

25 Kg Polybags Palletized Shrink Wrapped


800 Kg

25 Kg Paper Sacks Palletized Shrink Wrapped


650 Kg

25 Kg Polybags inside Wooden Crates


650 Kg

25 Kg Paper Sacks inside Wooden Crates


For Domestic deliveries, there is also availability of bulk Lumps and Powder deliveries to unload directly into the end-user storage tanks via trucks to provide most economical supply to our dearest Iranian Clients. For any further information, please check website

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