EghtesadOnline: The National Iranian Copper Industries Company’s sales stood at 161.95 trillion rials ($568 million) during the first six months of the current Iranian year (March 20-Sept. 21), according to the company’s managing director.
“The figure indicates a 61.5% rise compared with the corresponding period of last year,” Ardeshir Sa'd-Mohammadi also told ILNA.
He added that NICICO’s sales during the sixth month of the current fiscal (Aug. 22-Sept. 21) stood at 42.86 trillion rials ($150 million), indicating a 47.5% increase compared with the previous month.
Noting that NICICO recorded a five-year high in mineral exploration activities with 44,000 meters of deep explorations in copper ore mines in the first half of the year, Sa'd-Mohammadi said, “The company registered a 19% increase in exploration activities in H1 compared with the same period of last year. On Sept. 26, NICICO set a single-day record of 482 meters of deep explorations, the highest level over the past five years. These achievements were gained despite the outbreak of coronavirus and the fact that most global mining companies have suspended their activities.”
2030-31 Development Plan
NICICO plans to increase copper concentrate output by 900 million tons to reach 2 million tons in mid-term, says Behrouz Rahmati, an official with the company.
"Our concentrate production capacity is set to reach 2.6 million tons in NICICO's 2030-31 Development Plan … The development plan has been revised recently so that it covers a parallel development for all groups of products," Behrouz Rahmati was quoted as saying by ILNA.
However, concentrate production has been prioritized in the company's outlook, taking into account the "60% marginal revenue" generated by the product.
As planned, NICICO's copper cathode production capacity should exceed 550,000 tons by 2031, he added.
Rahmati said the development of refinery sites is the company's next priority and the marginal revenue of developing refinery plants is about 20%.
NICICO also plans to finalize the development of the third phase of the Sungun copper concentration plant, the second phase of Miduk Complex and the third phase of Sarcheshmeh Copper Complex.
The official added that NICICO is set to finalize 30 projects by the end of the current Iranian year (March 2021).
NICICO is now the leading copper producer in the Middle East and North Africa region, as it holds close to 14% of Asia’s copper deposits and more than 4% of global reserves.
According to the Geological Survey of Iran, Iran holds about 4 billion tons of estimated reserves.
According to the United States Geological Survey, Iran holds the world's ninth largest copper reserves.
China Accounts for 76% of Iran’s Copper Cathode Exports
Iran exported $263 million worth of copper cathode during the five months to Aug. 21, of which 76% were shipped to China.
According to the Statistical Center of Iran, Turkey and India followed China as the main export destination of copper cathode; they purchased $38 million and $23 million worth of the raw material respectively for the production of high purity copper and copper alloy products from Iran during the period.
Iran exported $51 million worth of copper ore and copper concentrate during the same period.
A total of 74,300 tons of copper and downstream products worth $334.1 million were exported over the five-month period.
The country also imported 400 tons of copper and downstream products worth $4.8 million over the same period, IRNA reported.
Data by the National Iranian Copper Industries Company show that a total of 250,000 tons of copper cathode were produced during the last Iranian year (March 2019-20) and plans are to improve the country’s output of the product to 280,000 tons this year.