Baku, Azerbaijan, May 16
By Fatih Karimov - Trend: A consortium of Omani and Australian companies, along with an Iranian partner, will invest in a zinc mining project in Iran, worth around $1 billion.
A contract was concluded last year with the consortium to invest in Iran's Mehdiabad zinc mine, located in the central province of Yazd. As the first step, the foreign partners provided $20 million to be injected to the project, Iran's Tasnim news agency reported on May 16.
Mehdiabad zinc mine is the largest of its kind in the Middle East, holding over 160 million metric tons of zinc deposit.
The mine also holds reserves of lead, barite, and mercury.
The project aims to establish a plant with a capacity to produce 100,000 metric tons of zinc ingot and 100,000 metric tons of zinc concentrate.
There are currently over 5,000 active mines in Iran.
Iran is ranked 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. Iran has the world's largest zinc and second largest copper deposits and ranks ninth for its iron reserves.