Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct.25
By Fatih Karimov - Trend: Iran is among the six major gold consumers in the world.
Behrouz Borna, deputy head of the Geological Survey of Iran, said Iranians buy about 400 metric tons of gold annually, Iran's ISNA news agency reported on October 25.
Annual gold trade amounts to $3,000 billion in the world, he added.
Gold deposits have been found in 12 provinces of the country, including northwestern provinces of West Azarbaijan, East Azarbaijan, western provinces of Kordestan and Zanjan, and southeastern provinces of Khorasan and Sistan-Baluchestan, he noted.
Borna said in May 2013 that Iran's gold reserve is estimated to be over 340 metric tons.
Fifteen gold mines are being operated across the country, and two others will be added in the current year, Borna said.
Iran ranks 12th in Asia and 42nd in the world in terms of gold reserve, he added.
The country's gold production capacity is projected to hit 10 metric tons in the current Iranian calendar year, which ends on March 20, 2014, he noted.
A sharp decrease in rial's value in the past few years forced people to turn to gold and forex market, to maintain the value of their savings.
During the last months of Ahmadinejad's term in office, it was reported that Iranians keep $18 billion worth of foreign currencies in their homes.
Over 100 metric tons of gold is also kept in homes, according to the head of Iran's Gold and Jewels Producers and Exporters Union Ebadollah Mohammad Vali. The figure is even more than the CBI's reserve.
The price of each ounce of gold was above $1,870 in September 2011, but the figure has dropped to $1,240 in global markets. So, Iranians currently keep around $3.5 billion worth of gold and $18 billion worth of foreign currencies in their homes.