Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 27 / Trend F.Milad/
Iran's copper production capacity stands currently at around 220,000 tons per day and the capacity is anticipated to double by the end of the fifth five-year development plan (2015), the industry, mine and trade minister stated.
Mehdi Ghazanfari added that Iran holds around 57 billion tons of proven and probable mineral reserves, worth approximately $770 billion, placing the country among the top 10 countries in terms of mineral reserves, the IRNA news agency reported.
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 in December 2011.
Some 36 million tons of copper is extracted annually in the country, Ardeshir Sa'd-Mohammadi said, adding that the amount is projected to increase to 70 million tons neat year. Iran is now at the ninth place worldwide in terms of copper reserves, he noted.
"Currently, 40 development plans for copper production with a value of 7.35 billion dollars are underway across the country. 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.