Iran’s copper reserves increase to 157 mlm tonnes

Iran Materials 21 December 2011 14:33 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec. 21/ Trend M. Moezzi/

Iran's exploration for copper has increased the country's production from 15 mln tons to more than 157 mln tons, Isna News reported.

Iran is in the process of signing a contract with a Belgian company to work on a condensation pant, but plans to assign 90 per cent of leaching operations and 70 per cent of condensation operations to domestic companies.

More than 80 trillion rials (some $8 billion) has been invested in Iran's copper industries since the beginning of the current calendar year (March 21, 2011), the National Iranian Copper Industries Company's managing director said.

Ardeshir Sa'd-Mohammadi said that some 36 million tons of copper are extracted annually in the country and the amount is projected to increase to 70 million tons next year, the IRNA news agency reported.

Iran is now in ninth place worldwide with its copper reserves, Mr Sa'd-Mohammadi noted.

"Currently, 40 development plans for copper production having a total value of 7.35 billion dollars are underway across the country and through the implementation of these projects, Iran's annual production capacity of copper will rise from the current 200,000 tons to 700,000 tons, showing a 3.5-fold increase," the official said in November.

He went on to say that Iran currently has 32.5 million tons of copper reserves, but this figure will increase in the coming months.