EghtesadOnline: The National Iranian Copper Industries Company's sales stood at 120 trillion rials ($495 million) during the first five months of the current Iranian year (March 20-Aug. 21), according to the company’s managing director.
“The figure, which includes both domestic sales and exports, indicates a 40% rise compared with the corresponding period of last year,” Ardeshir Sa'd-Mohammadi also told ILNA.
He added that NICICO’s sales during the fifth month under review (July 22-Aug. 21) exceeded 29 trillion rials ($120 million).
According to Sa'd-Mohammadi, during the five months under review, sales of copper cathode hit 133,500 tons, registering a 43% increase year-on-year.
“This has largely contributed to propel NICICO’s gains,” he added.
The official noted that 21.95 million tons of copper sulfide ore, 493,000 tons of copper concentrate, 115,701 tons of copper cathode and 149,234 tons of copper anode were produced during the five-month period under review.
During the month ending Aug. 21, NICICO’s production reached 14.409 million tons, including 4.09 million tons of copper sulfide ore and 89,014 tons of copper concentrate.
NICICO aims to produce 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 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.
Sa’d-Mohammadi noted that 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).
“Iran's annual output of copper cathode and anode is expected to jump to 550,000 tons and 666,000 tons respectively by 2031,” he said.
The NICICO chief announced that the company's expansion plans include a wide gamut of activities, from mineral explorations to establishment of over 15 units along the copper production chain.
The expansion operations to reach the target capacity will be completed by 2024, he added.
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,” Sa'd-Mohammadi said, adding that with development of mineral explorations, the country will soon ascend to the seventh rank.
According to the official, Iran’s copper reserves make up 4.15% of global copper reserves, Fars News Agency reported.
Iran's major Sungun Copper Mine’s reserves exceed 1.2 billion tons while that of Miduk Copper Mine surpass 500 million tons.
According to the NICICO chief, 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.