EghtesadOnline: Kouhdom Gold Mine, located 110 kilometers northeast of the central city of Ardestan in Isfahan Province, has come on stream.
A total of 3 trillion rials ($10 million) were invested into the development project of the reserve, which is expected to produce 100 kg of gold ore and 10,000 tons of copper oxide ore every year, reads a press release of Iran Minerals Production and Supply Company.
An adjacent processing and extraction factory is also set to come on stream in near future.
The new mine is set to process 200 kg of gold per year in the first phase.
Kouhdom reportedly contains some 1.7 million tons proven reserves of gold ore.
The project, which is among the development plans of Iran Minerals Production and Supply Company—a subsidiary of the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization, was initiated in 2015.
“Iran’s gold ingot output has registered a 14-fold jump in the past seven years,” President Hassan Rouhani said at the inauguration of another gold mine recently.
Zar-Kouh Mining Company based in the western Kurdestan Province of Iran also recently launched a new gold mine.
The Sari-Guni mine was inaugurated in August by President Rouhani via a videoconference, Shata reported.
The new mine has come on stream with 3 trillion rials ($10 million) of investment and employs 350 people.
“The government is willing to put extra investment and effort into boosting gold mining,” the president added.
Deputy Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade Daryoush Esmaeili, who was also present at the inaugural site, said Iran is ahead of schedule in gold production.
“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 risen from 850 kg to 12 tons annually,” IRNA reported.
He 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 added.
Zarshouran, located 35 kilometers from Takab in the northwestern province of West Azarbaijan, is Iran’s and the Middle East’s richest gold deposit. It holds 108 tons of proven reserves, in addition to 50 tons of silver.
It accounts for 30% of Iran’s gold reserves.
Currently, around 700 people are working in the mine.
Latest data show Zarshouran Gold Mine produced 367 kilograms of gold ingots during the first five months of the current Iranian year (March 20-August 21), registering a 23% rise compared with the same period of last year.
According to caretaker of Zarshouran Gold Mine and Mining Industries Development Company, Mohsen Naderi, 430,000 tons of gold ore were extracted from the mine during the five months under review, Iran’s Mineral Production and Supply Company, affiliated to IMIDRO reported.
“Optimizing the input in gold bar production process, upgrading and boosting the capacity of the filtration process and establishing quality control units for each production stage are among the recent measures taken to boost the mine’s output,” Naderi said.
The mine is planning to boost its gold ingot production to around 1,500 kilograms by the end of the current Iranian year (March 2021).
Mouteh Gold Mine, located in Isfahan Province in central Iran, produced a total of 162 kilograms of gold during the first half of the current Iranian year (March 20-Sep. 21.) to register a 16% increase compared to the corresponding period of last year.
The head of the mining company at Mouteh Alireza Talarias expects the output to reach 300 kilograms by March 2021, Fars News Agency reported, citing data released by the Iranian Mines & Mining Industries Development & Renovation Organization.
Mouteh and Zarshouran gold mines produced an aggregate of 1,139 kilograms of gold ingots in the last Iranian year that ended on March 19, 2020.
According to Omid Emami, an official with IMIDRO, the two mines are expecting a 17% rise in their output this year (March 2020-21) to reach 1,333 kilograms.
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 added that most of Iran’s old reserves are located in small mines.
Each mine creates at least 350 jobs, he told Young Journalists Club.