EghtesadOnline: The National Iranian Copper Industries Company's sales stood at 91.62 trillion rials ($409 million) during the first four months of the current Iranian year (March 20-July 21), according to the company’s managing director.
“The figure indicates a 33.21% rise compared with the corresponding period of last year,” Ardeshir Sa'd-Mohammadi also told ILNA.
He added that NICICO’s sales during the fourth month under review (June 21-July 21) stood at 27.44 trillion rials ($122 million).
“Sales of copper cathode hit 83 trillion rials [over $370 million], indicating a 100% rise compared to the year-ago period,” he said.
NICICO's sales totaled a record high of 227 trillion rials ($1 billion) in the last fiscal year that ended on March 19 to witness a staggering rise of 127% compared to the year before.
According Sa'd-Mohammadi, the company’s domestic sales accounted for over 110 billion rials ($490,000) of the total sum. The rest pertained to exports.
He noted that both earnings from exports and domestic sales registered all-time highs, ISNA reported.
The value of exports was twice those of the preceding year, he added.
Sa’d-Mohammadi said NICICO is targeting the production of 280,000 tons of copper cathode and 335,000 tons of copper anode by the current fiscal yearend (March 2021), noting that plans are high on the agenda to seize the opportunity of meeting growing global demand in the coming years.
Global demand for copper metal (produced from refined copper and recycled scrap) is expected to keep rising due to copper’s indispensable role in modern technologies.
According to Forbes, robust gains in building construction expenditures are expected to boost the use of copper wire, tube and other mill products in applications such as building wire and plumbing.
Increased infrastructure investment, particularly in developing countries, will further benefit copper suppliers as updates to national power grids drive the production of wire and cable.
In addition, advances in global manufacturing output are expected to bolster the use of copper metal in transportation equipment, industrial machinery, domestic appliances and other durable goods.
“The production of both copper cathode and anode is projected to double within the next decade with an investment of €2.5 million plus 248 billion rials [$1.1 million],” Sa’d-Mohammadi said.
“Iran's annual output of copper cathode and anode is expected to jump to 550,000 tons and 666,000 tons respectively by 2031.”
The NICICO chief announced that the company's expansion plans include a wide gamut of activities, from mineral explorations to establishment of 15 units along the copper production chain.
“The expansion operations to reach the target capacity will be completed by 2024,” he said.
Copper Industry's March 20-July 21 Output
Latest data released by Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization shows NICICO and its subsidiaries, including Sungun Complex, Miduk Complex and Sarcheshmeh Copper Complex, produced a total of 403,994 tons of copper concentrate during the first four months of the current Iranian year to register a 1% growth compared with last year’s similar period.
The output during the month to July 21 stood at 93,918 to register a year-on-year decrease of 7%.
A total of 121,202 tons of copper anode were produced during the four months under review, up 3% YOY.
Sarcheshmeh Copper Complex accounted for 79,831 tons of the total sum (up 2% YOY) and Khatounabad Copper Cathode Production Plant produced 41,371 tons to witness a 4% rise.
Around 29,652 tons of copper anode were produced in the month ending July 21, up 5% YOY.
Production of copper cathode hit 91,080 tons during the four months, up 1% YOY.
Sarcheshmeh Copper Complex and Miduk Complex accounted for 57,403 tons and 33,677 tons of the total copper cathode output respectively.
Around 22,072 tons of copper cathode were produced during June 21-July 21, down 4% YOY.
A total of 2,593 tons of molybdenum were produced during the four-month period, which indicates a 4% YOY decrease.
Molybdenum output in the month ending July 21 amounted to 571 tons, down 3% YOY.
World's 9th Largest Reserve, 8th Biggest Producer
According to the United States Geological Survey, Iran holds the world's ninth largest copper reserves.
Iran holds about 4 billion tons of estimated copper reserves, according to the Geological Survey of Iran.
“With an annual production of 34.5 million tons, Iran is currently the world’s eighth biggest producer of copper in the world,” says the NICICO chief, adding that following a rise in mineral explorations, the country will soon ascend to the seventh rank.
Iran’s copper reserves make up 4.15% of the global copper reserves. The country's major Sungun Copper Mine’s reserves exceed 1.2 billion tons while that of Miduk Copper Mine surpasses 500 million tons, Fars News Agency reported.
According to Sa'd-Mohammadi, the copper industry has a 50-million-ton share in Iran's annual mineral output.
Taking into account the development of copper mines of Der Alo Copper Mine, Darezar Copper Mine and Khatunabad (all three in Kerman Province) as well as new explorations, Sa'd-Mohammadi believes the country’s copper reserves will at least last for the next 100 years.
Exports of copper and downstream products in the fiscal 2019-20 stood at 365,070 tons worth about $917.53 million, down by 52% in tonnage and up by 13% in value YOY.
Copper and downstream products’ imports stood at 1,870 tons worth $17.42 million, indicating a 93.3% and 90.7% decrease in tonnage and value respectively YOY.
Copper and downstream products were the third major mineral commodity on the list of the country’s mineral trade.
On July 3, 1972, Kerman Sarcheshmeh Copper Mines Company was incorporated and it was renamed National Iranian Copper Industries Company in 1976, which encompasses all operations of copper mines in the country.
The functions of this company include: To extract and operate copper mines; to produce high-grade products of ore and copper products such as cathode, slab, billet and 8-mm wires. Sarcheshmeh and Miduk in Kerman, as well as Sungun in East Azarbaijan, are among the most important copper mines of the country.
Iran has the capacity to extract 32.5 million tons of copper ores per year, making the country the world's eighth biggest in this respect, according to the NICICO chief.
Sa'd-Mohammadi noted that there will be more than 100,000 meters of deep explorations in copper ore mines in the current fiscal year (March 2020-21).