Official: 20 per cent of gold mines in Iran ‘idle’

Business Materials 21 January 2013 12:33

Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 21 / Trend F.Mehdi/

Three out of 15 gold mines in Iran are not being exploited, ISNA quoted Iranian deputy industry minister, Vajihollah Ja'fari, as saying.

He added that investments in the mining sector grew by 73 per cent in the past Iranian calendar year which ended on March 19, 2012, compared to its preceding year.

"Foreign companies have invested in mining explorations in East Azarbaijan and Kordestan provinces," he noted.

On Wednesday, IRNA quoted deputy industry minister, Masoud Movahhedi, as saying that Iran's proven gold reserves stand at 320 tons.

He added that five gold mines are ready to be transferred to the private sector.

In October 2012, Ja'fari said Iran gold production currently stands at up to 2.5 tons per year.

This is while some reports in September had put Iran's gold output at four tons a year, ISNA reported.

"Iran will soon start gold extraction works on three new gold mines in Iran's Kurdistan province," Ja'fari added.

Ja'fari said that the mines will be transferred to the private sector next month so the companies would begin their work there, adding that that there are some 16 tons of gold in all three mines which would cost around $1,305 billion.

Iran currently has gold mines in Sistan and Baluchestan, Khorasan Razavi, East Azarbaijan, West Azerbaijan, and Kordestan provinces and also a joint gold mine in the Isfahan and Markazi provinces.