EghtesadOnline: The National Iranian Copper Industries Company and its subsidiaries, including Sungun Complex, Miduk Complex and Sarcheshmeh Copper Complex, produced a record high of 706,789 tons of copper concentrate during the first seven months of the current Iranian year (March 20-Oct. 21) to register a 5% growth compared with last year’s similar period.
According to NICICO Managing Director Ardeshir Sa'd-Mohammadi, the output during the month ending Oct. 21 stood at 107,191 tons, marking a 9% increase compared with the same period of last year, the Iranian Mines & Mining Industries Development & Renovation's news portal reported.
NICICO also produced a total of 162,731 tons of copper cathode during the seven months, registering a 7% growth compared with last year’s corresponding period.
An aggregate of 205,109 tons of copper anode were produced during the period under review, up 10% YOY.
NICICO is the leading copper producer in the Middle East and North Africa region, as its mines hold close to 14% of Asia’s copper deposits and about 3% of global reserves.
Iran holds about 4 billion tons of estimated copper reserves, according to the Geological Survey of Iran.
National Iranian Copper Industries Company plans to increase copper concentrate output by 900 million tons to reach 2 million tons in the mid-term, said 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" that the product generates.
As per the plan, NICICO's copper cathode production capacity should exceed 550,000 tons by 2031, he added.
The development of refinery sites is the company's next priority, the marginal revenue of which is about 20%, according to Rahmati.
NICICO also plans to finalize the development of the third phase of Sungun copper concentration plant, the second phase of Miduk Complex and the third phase of Sarcheshmeh Copper Complex.
Rahmati noted that NICICO is set to finalize 30 projects by the end of the current Iranian year.
H1 Sales Grow 61% YOY
The National Iranian Copper Industries Company’s sales stood at 161.95 trillion rials ($554 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,” Sa'd-Mohammadi told ILNA.
He added that NICICO’s sales during the sixth month of the current fiscal year (Aug. 22-Sept. 21) stood at 42.86 trillion rials ($146 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 hit 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.