EghtesadOnline: Zar-Kouh Mining Company in the western Kurdestan Province of Iran has launched a new gold mine, which is expected to add 3,000 kilograms to the country's total annual gold ingot output capacity.
President Hassan Rouhani inaugurated the Sari-Guni Mine via a videoconference on Tuesday, Shata reported.
The new mine has been implemented with an investment of 3 trillion rials ($12.76 million) and is said to have employed 350 people.
Speaking at the inaugural event, President Rouhani said Iran’s gold ingot output has registered a 14-fold jump in the past seven years.
“The government is willing to make an additional investment and effort into boosting gold mining,” he added.
Deputy Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade Darioush Esmaeili, who was also present at the inaugural site, said Iran is ahead of schedule in gold production, IRNA reported.
“Based on the Sixth Five-Year Development Plan [2017-22], the domestic gold ingot production in the country was expected to reach 10 tons per year. However, since 2012, the rate has increased from 850 kg to 12 tons annually,” he added.
Esmaeili noted that the world’s total gold mine reserves amount to 50,000 tons, of which 320 tons of proven reserves belong to Iran.
“Based on the explorations and estimations, Iran’s share can be increased to 400 tons,” he said.
The inauguration was part of the government's plan to launch 200 industrial, mining and trade projects worth 1.69 quadrillion rials ($7.19 billion) across the country by the end of the current fiscal year (March 20, 2021), creating 41,000 jobs along the way.
So far this year, over 40 mining and industrial projects worth over 220 trillion rials ($936 million) have come on stream within nine weeks.
Mouteh and Zarshouran gold mines produced an aggregate of 1,139 kilograms of gold ingots in the last Iranian year (ended March 19, 2020).
According to Omid Emami, an official with the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization, the two mines are expecting a 17% rise in output this year (March 2020-21) to reach 1,333 kilograms.
Iran’s first exploited deposit of the precious mineral, Mouteh Gold Mine, is located in Meymeh County in Isfahan Province.
Zarshouran Gold Mine is located 35 kilometers from Takab town in the northwestern province of West Azarbaijan. It has 110 tons of pure gold reserves, making it the richest gold mine not only in the country but also in the Middle East.
The mine contains 30% of Iran’s gold reserves and currently employs around 700 people.
A total of 8.5 tons of gold were extracted from Iranian mines last year, according to the head of Iran's Mine House.
Mohammad Reza Bahraman has noted that most of Iran’s old reserves are located in small mines.
Each mine creates at least 350 jobs, he told Young Journalists Club.