EghtesadOnline: Zarshooran Gold Mine's new development phase has been inaugurated.
The mine is located 35 kilometers from Takab town in northwestern province of West Azarbaijan.
According to Parisa Abedpour, the deputy head of West Azarbaijan Province's Industries, Mining and Trade Organization, the new development phase adds 40 hectares to the 100 hectares already covered by the mine complex, including exploration areas as well as a gold processing unit.
Zarshooran Gold Mine is the biggest gold mine in the Middle East, containing 30% of Iran’s gold reserves, Financial Tribune reported.
“Currently, 700 people are working in the mine,” IRNA quoted the official as saying.
“The first establishment phase of Zarshooran’s gold processing and extraction factory became operational in the fiscal 2014-15 with an investment of about 2 trillion rials ($15 million) and a nominal production capacity of 3 tons per year.”
Referring to mining operations in West Azarbaijan, Abedpour said 68 types of minerals have been identified in Iran, of which 52 have been explored in West Azarbaijan.
There are 469 active mines operating in the province while 5,270 people are directly employed in the mines.
The mines’ reserves in the province are estimated to be more than 16,000 tons.
Zarshooran Gold Mine has 110 tons of gold reserves, which makes it the richest gold mine in the country as well as the Middle East.
Dashkasan gold mine in the western province of Kurdestan comes second in Iran with 63 tons of estimated reserves, followed by Aq-Darreh and Kharavan in northwestern Iran, each with a capacity of 30 tons.
Kouh-Zar in the northeastern Khorasan Razavi Province with 15 tons and Mouteh in the central Isfahan Province with 14 tons of gold reserves are ranked fourth and fifth biggest gold mines in Iran respectively.