Iran's Bank Saderat and Russia's state company Russian Technologies are creating a $1.2 billion joint venture to tap into Iran's colossal zinc deposit, which is the largest in the world.
The joint venture will build a mining complex and develop the Mehdiabad mine, according to a September 11 protocol from the Iranian-Russian trade commission meeting, Kommersant daily reported Tuesday.
At the meeting Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi and Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko agreed to cooperate on the project.
Russian Technologies will participate in the project together with a Turkey-Seychelles company Kapsad International, while Iran will be represented in the venture by Bank Saderat (BSI).
A source close to the negotiations told Kommersant that the project was worth up to $1.2 billion, with most funds expected to come from Iran.
The Mehdiabad deposit in central Iran is believed to contain a total of 394 million tons of zinc, lead and silver, according to the Australian company Union Resources that was given a license to exploit the mine in 2006.