Iran is able to meet four percent of the global demand for zinc, said Minister of Industry, Mineand Trade Mohammadreza Nematzadeh.
He made the remarks in a signing ceremony of an investment contract for the construction of zinc-lead plant in Mahdiabad mine in Yazd Province on Saturday, imidro.gov.ir reported.
The minister hoped to launch the plant at the earliest so that the byproducts will be available in the market.
Iran is the second leading producer of lead and zinc in the Middle East and North Africa region after Turkey, according to a report published by the US Geological Survey on Iran’s nonfuel minerals.
An average annual growth rate of 12 percent is required to attain the government’s 2025 target output of 300,000 tons of zinc per year.
Processors use only 35-40 percent of their two million tons per year total capacity owing to insufficient ore production at mines.
The total refining capacity of 60 processing units operational nationwide is 450,000 tons per year of zinc ingots and 420,000 tons per year of lead ingots.
Iran exports about 80 percent of its zinc and lead ingot output.
Iran’s two largest zinc mines are Mahdiabad with reserves of 400 million tons of ore grading at two percent zinc and Angouran, with reserves of nine million tons of ore grading at 26 percent zinc and six percent lead.
Based on plans by the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade, Mehdiabad Zinc and Lead Mine is to be the main supplier of lead and zinc to domestic industries once the zinc deposits in Angouran mine are exhausted.
Mehdiabad mine has zinc, lead and silver deposits. It has up to 400 million tons of reserves, of which 70 percent are zinc and the rest are lead, silver and barite.
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