EghtesadOnline: The National Iranian Copper Industries Company and its subsidiaries, Sungun Complex, Miduk Complex and Sarcheshmeh Copper Complex, produced 108,367 tons of copper concentrate during the first month of the current fiscal year (ended April 20), up 5.31% compared with the same period of last year.
A total of 24,616 tons of copper cathode were produced during the first month of the fiscal year, indicating a 37% jump compared with the same period of last year.
The data were published in the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization’s latest report.
A total of 29,039 tons of copper anode were produced in the month, down 5% year-on-year. Sarcheshmeh accounted for 17,829 tons of the monthly output.
Sarcheshmeh and Miduk in Kerman, and Sungun in East Azarbaijan, are among the most important copper mines of the country.
Considered the second largest copper deposit worldwide, Sarcheshmeh experienced a 113% growth in sales during the month under review, 33% of which were generated from exports.
NICICO produced an aggregate of 355,612 tons of copper anode during the last Iranian year (March 2020-21), posting a growth of 17% compared with last year’s similar period.
The giant copper producer accounted for the largest portion of the output during the year under review, with 234,067 tons, down 2% YOY.
The National Iranian Copper Industries Company and its subsidiaries produced an aggregate of 355,612 tons of copper anode in the last Iranian year, posting a growth of 17% compared with last year’s similar period.
Sarcheshmeh accounted for the largest portion of the output with 234,067 tons, down 2% YOY.
A total of 1.2 million tons of copper concentrate were produced during the previous fiscal year, up 2% compared with the year before.
Sarcheshmeh Copper Complex produced the largest share of the total output, i.e., 712,289 tons, up 1% year-on-year.
The total production of copper cathode hit 280,275 tons in the fiscal year under review, up 12% YOY, and Sarcheshmeh alone produced 176,300 tons of the total sum.
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.
“The National Iranian Copper Industries Company's sales reached a record high of 419.4 trillion rials [$1.8 billion] in the last Iranian year [March 2020-21],” says the company’s managing director, Ardeshir Sa'd-Mohammadi, noting that the figure indicates a 90% increase compared with the same period of the year before.
NICICO’s sales totaled 227 trillion rials ($986 million) in the fiscal 2019-20 to witness a rise of 127% compared to the year before.
The company sold 272,400 tons of cathode last year, an all-time high, according to the official.
The number stood at 248,000 tons in the previous year.
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.
"Our concentrate production capacity is set to reach 2.6 million tons in NICICO's 2030-2031 Development Plan … The development plan has been revised recently so that it covers a parallel development for all groups of products," Behrouz Rahmati of NICICO 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.
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 4% of global reserves.
The functions of this company include, among others: To operate copper mines and produce high-grade copper products such as cathode, slab, billet and 8-mm wires.
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 those 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 believes the country’s copper reserves will last for the next 100 years.