Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 9 / Trend F.Mehdi/
New gold and copper mines have been recently discovered in South Khorasan Province in the northeast of Iran, the Mehr News Agency quoted Behrouz Borna, the deputy head of Iran's Geology and Mineral Exploration Organisation, as saying.
Three other gold mines had also been previously discovered in Kurdestan Province in the west of the country, he added.
On November 26, 2012, IRIB quoted Borna as saying that the country ranks first in the Middle East for possessing the region's largest mineral reserves, Press TV reported.
Iran is ranked among the 15 major mineral-rich countries of the world and exports its industrial and mineral products to 159 countries, including Iraq, China, the United Arab Emirates, India and Afghanistan.
Iranian Industry, Mine and Trade Minister Mehdi Ghazanfari said that Iran holds two per cent of the world's total mineral reserves.
He added that the mineral reserves include 12 metal and 36 non-metal ores.
Some 5000 mines are being worked in the country, he said, adding that around 340 million tons of minerals were extracted in the past year which ended March 19.
In July, the Fars News Agency reported that some 120 tons of gold is held by Iranians at homes.
The annual demand for gold is 300 tons in Iran, while the domestic production is about 2.5 tons per year, showing a significant gap between supply and demand in the market.