EghtesadOnline: The National Iranian Copper Industries Company and its subsidiaries, including Sungun Complex, Miduk Complex and Sarcheshmeh Copper Complex, produced 292,715 tons of copper anode during the first 10 months of the current Iranian year (March 20-Jan. 19), unchanged compared with last year’s corresponding period.
The data were released in Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization’s latest report.
Sarcheshmeh Copper Complex accounted for 191,673 tons of the total, as Khatoonabad Copper Cathode Production Plant produced 101,042 tons of copper anode during the period, posting a considerable growth of 108% year-on-year.
Around 29,643 tons of copper anode were produced in the month to Jan. 19, up 41% year-on-year. Sarcheshmeh accounted for 19,195 tons of the output during the 10th month of the Iranian year.
An aggregate of 998,250 tons of copper concentrate were produced during the 10 months under review, up 19% YOY. Sarcheshmeh Copper Complex produced the largest share of the total output, with 588,409 tons, down 1% year-on-year.
The output during the month ending Jan. 19 stood at 92,803 tons, marking a 9% drop compared with the same period of last year.
Production of copper cathode hit 231,113 tons in the 10 months, up 13% YOY.
Sarcheshmeh Copper Complex and Miduk Complex accounted for about 145,000 tons and 85,000 tons of the total copper cathode output, respectively.
Around 24,568 tons of copper cathode were produced during the 10th month of the fiscal year, indicating a 56% growth compared with the same period of last year.
A total of 5,492 tons of molybdenum were produced during the period, IMIDRO data show.
Molybdenum output has experienced a 21% fall compared with the previous year's corresponding period. In the month ending Jan. 19, it amounted to 458 tons, down 36%.
NICICO officials expect further growth in the company's annual output, considering huge investments of late in the industry.
"The growth in copper anode production is expected to reach 16% by the end of the current fiscal year [March 19] … We have started 29 projects with a total investment of €2.5 billion, which is expected to help boost NICICO's capacity to 550,000 tons by March 2024," Managing Director of the National Iranian Copper Industries Company Ardeshir Sa'd-Mohammadi told ILNA.
NICICO's sales hit a record high of 311.914 trillion rials ($1.2 billion) during the first 10 months of the current fiscal year, to witness a staggering rise of 70% compared to the year before.
According to Sa'd-Mohammadi, the company’s monthly sales stand at 32.192 trillion rials ($123 million), which is 18% higher than the corresponding period of last year.
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.
NICICO plans to increase copper concentrate output by 900 million tons to reach 2 million tons in mid-term. Concentrate production capacity of the company is set to reach 2.6 million tons in NICICO's 2030-31 Development Plan
The company 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.
Iran’s copper mines make up 4.15% of the global reserves. Iran's major Sungun Copper Mine’s reserves exceed 1.2 billion tons while that of Miduk Copper Mine surpass 500 million tons.
Taking into account the development of copper mines of Der Alo Copper Mine, Darezar Copper Mine and Khatoonabad (all three in Kerman Province) as well as new explorations, Sa'd-Mohammadi said the country’s copper reserves will last for the next 100 years.
According to IMIDRO, during the first three quarters of the current fiscal year, steel topped Iran’s mineral exports in terms of value with $2.17 billion and was followed by copper with $665.8 million and cement with $268.8 million.
Exports of copper and downstream products in the fiscal 2019-20 stood at 365,070 tons worth about $917.53 million, down by 52% in tonnage and up by 13% in value YOY.
Copper and downstream products’ imports stood at 1,870 tons worth $17.42 million, indicating a 93.3% and 90.7% decrease in tonnage and value respectively YOY.
Copper and downstream products were the third major mineral commodity on the list of the country’s mineral trade.