Baku, Azerbaijan, May 20
By Fatih Karimov - Trend:
Iran's copper production capacity stands currently at around 200,000 tons per year and the capacity is projected to be doubled by the end of the Iranian solar year 1397 (March 2019).
Ahmad Morad Alizadeh, Director of National Iranian Copper Industries Company, said the country's copper production will rise to 300,000 tons in the next year, Iran's Mehr news agency reported on May 20.
The Iranian solar year starts on March 20.
Increasing the output to higher than 400,000 tons requires conducting explorations for finding new copper deposits, Alizadeh added.
On May 18, Ali Yazdani, director of resources management department at the Iranian industry ministry, said a total of 7,000 operating and non-operating mines exist in the country.
He added that around 5,600 mines are currently operating in Iran.
Iran has the potential to extract up to 80 minerals through expanding exploration operations, IRIB quoted chairman of Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO) Mehdi Karbasian as saying on January 6.
"So far, 68 minerals have been identified and extracted across the country," he added. "However, exploration operations have been carried out just over 100,000 square meters kilometer area of the country."
In October, Karbasian said that the value of incomplete mineral projects in Iran reaches $5.7 billion.
The projects are related to nearly 60 mines in the country, he said, adding that IMIDRO needs $28 billion to implement its development projects by the end of the fifth five-year national development plan (2015).
Iran holds three percent of the world's mineral reserves which puts the country first in the Middle East and third in Asia.
Iran is ranks 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.
The important mines of Iran include coal, metallic minerals, sand and gravel, chemical minerals and salt.
The country has the world's largest zinc and second largest copper deposits and ranks ninth for its iron reserves.