EghtesadOnline: The National Iranian Copper Industries Company and its subsidiaries, namely Sungun Complex, Miduk Complex and Sarcheshmeh Copper Complex, produced an aggregate of 706,816 tons of copper concentrate during the first seven months of the current Iranian year (March 20-Oct. 21) to register a 2% growth compared with last year’s similar period.
The data were released in Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization’s latest report.
Sarcheshmeh Copper Complex produced the largest share of the total output, with 415,807 tons, up 2% year-on-year.
The output during the month to Oct. 21 stood at 107,192 tons, marking a 5% jump compared with the same period of last year.
A total of 205,110 tons of copper anode were produced during the seven months, up 12% YOY.
Sarcheshmeh Copper Complex accounted for 135,923 tons of the total sum and Khatoonabad Copper Cathode Production Plant produced 69,187 tons of copper anode during the said period.
Around 25,574 tons of copper anode were produced in the month ending Oct. 2, up 32% year-on-year. Sarcheshmeh accounted for 18,829 tons of the output during the same month.
The production of copper cathode hit 162,730 tons in the seven-month period, up 6% YOY.
Sarcheshmeh Copper Complex and Miduk Complex accounted for 100,700 tons and 62,030 tons of total copper cathode output, respectively.
Around 22,831 tons of copper cathode were produced during Sept. 22-Oct. 21, indicating a 5% growth compared with the same period of last year.
A total of 4,089 tons of molybdenum were produced during the seven-month period, IMIDRO data show.
Molybdenum output in the month ending Oct. 21 amounted to 488 tons, down 26%.
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 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 also 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.
According to Rahmati, 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.
Rahmati added that the National Copper Company is set to finalize 30 projects by the end of the current Iranian year (March 20, 2021).