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Iran’s biggest gold mine beats production estimates

22 August 2017 14:41


One of the Middle East’s biggest gold mines in northwest Iran has beat quarterly production estimates, yielding 142,000 tonnes of recoverable reserves in the four months since March 20.

The figure is 3.5 times above the forecast for recovery from Zarshuran mine in Takab, which is believed to hold 110 tonnes of pure gold in reserves.

“According to the plan, the extraction of 40,000 tonnes had been forecast but more than 142,000 tonnes of minerals were recovered during the period,” the state-owned holding company active in mining IMIDRO said in a statement.

The mine currently has 360,000 tonnes of minerals stored for plant use, covering at least 12 months of plant utilization, while the facility’s  monthly requirement now is 30,000 tonnes, it added.

Zarshuran is intended for further expansion, after which it is estimated to yield 6 tonnes of gold a year and double the country’s overall production. This could significantly improve Iran’s place among the world’s producers of the precious metal.

Production from Zarshuran in Iran’s West Azerbaijan began in November 2014 with the inauguration of a facility capable of processing 3 tonnes of gold on top of 2.5 tonnes of silver and one tonne of mercury per year.

Open pit mining at Zarshuran in northwest Iran

The Zarshuran gold complex is one of the most important mineral projects, which is referred to as the “golden giant of Iran.” After expansion, “three tonnes will be added to the production of ore, meaning 10 kg of pure gold will be produced daily at Zarshuran,” the ISNA news agency reported.

At best, Iran is ranked as the world’s 54th gold producer but investment in the country’s gold mines is showing a growing trend during the last few years as global gold prices have been rising.

According to the Ministry of Industry, Mining and Trade, there are about 15 gold mines in Iran, of which 12 deposits are active and three others inactive. In general, more than 50 districts and gold mineral areas have been identified in the country, of which only about 10 regions have satisfactory reserves.

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