Iran’s copper industry is expected to see a 143 percent rise in production, from the current 115,000 tons to 280,000 a year by 2005, reported the official Iranian news agency, IRNA. Of the total anticipated output, some 70 percent are intended for export, while the remaining copper be directed for local use.
Abdolreza Hashem-Zaie, managing director of the National Iranian Copper Industries Company (NICICO), disclosed the figures recently, noting that the projected production increase is part of the nation’s third Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2000-2005).
Currently, six development projects in the copper industry are underway throughout Iran. Of these, the East Azarbaijan Sounagoun copper field of Ahar is considered the highest national priority. The project, whose construction began in 1999, is expected to create some 2,100 new jobs.
The Sounagoun copper field has a proven one billion ton reserve, along with an additional two billion ton reserve of 0.7 percent pure copper.
Sarcheshmeh copper field currently produces 99 percent of Iranian copper. Iran holds approximately five percent of the world’s known copper reserves. ― (MENA Report)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )