Sarcheshmeh Copper Complex is among largest industrial complexs I have ever seen, which surprised us, visiting head of Malaysian Producers’ Federation, Mostafa Mansour said here Monday.
He made the remarks in an exclusive interview with IRNA on the sidelines of his visit of Sarcheshmeh Copper Complex of Kerman.
“The copper produced in Sarcheshmeh Copper Complex is one of the best quality coppers in the world,” Mansour added.
The official noted that Iran's Kerman Province has good potentials for Malaysian investors and Malaysia welcomes the export of copper made in Sarcheshmeh Copper Complex to Malaysia.
Ibrahim Alavi, Deputy for Development and Investment Department in Kerman Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines, on his part welcomed foreign investment in the region, adding that the existence of 40 kinds of minerals has made Kerman Province unique in the world.
“International sanctions couldn’t impede Iran’s progress forward in the field of industries and mines,” he said.
Sarcheshmeh is a large open cast copper mine in the Kerman Province of Iran, considered to be the second largest copper deposit worldwide. Also containing substantial amounts of molybdenum, gold and other rare metals.
The Sarcheshmeh Copper Complex is located 65 km southwest of Kerman and 50 km south of Rafsanjan. The region's altitude averages about 2600m, the highest spot of which approximates 3000m. Sarcheshmeh ore bodies, situated in the central part of Zagros ranges, consist of folded and faulted early tertiary volcano-sedimentary rocks.
Production units of Sarcheshmeh Copper Complex involve the mine itself, concentrator, smelter, refinery, foundries and leaching.
Iran mining industry is one of the most important mineral producers in the world, ranked among 15 major mineral rich countries, holding some 68 types of minerals, 37 billion tonnes of proven reserves and more than 57 billion tonnes of potential reservoirs.
The most important mines in Iran include coal, metallic minerals, sand and gravel, chemical minerals and salt. Khorasan has the most operating mines in Iran. Other large deposits which mostly remain underdeveloped are zinc (world's largest), copper (world's ninth largest - revised from second largest in 2010), iron (world's ninth largest), uranium (world's tenth largest) and lead (world's eleventh largest). Iran with roughly 1% of the world's population holds more than 7% of the world's total mineral reserves.
Although the petroleum industry provides the majority of economic revenues, about 75 percent of all mining sector employees work in mines producing minerals other than oil and natural gas. These include coal, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, and chromium, barite (world’s sixth largest producer, salt, gypsum, molybdenum, strontium, silica, uranium, and gold (most as a coproduct of the Sar Cheshmeh copper complex operations) The mines at Sar Cheshmeh in Kerman Province contain the world's second largest lode of copper ore (5% of the world's total). Some 128,500 tons were extracted in 2000–2001. Large iron ore deposits exist in central Iran, near Bafq, Yazd, and Kerman.
Iran produces orpiment and realgar arsenic concentrates, silver, asbestos, borax, hydraulic cement, clays (bentonite, industrial, and kaolin), diatomite, feldspar, fluorspar, turquoise, industrial or glass sand (quartzite and silica), lime, magnesite, nitrogen (of ammonia and urea), perlite, natural ocher and iron oxide mineral pigments, pumice and related volcanic materials, caustic soda, stones and decorative stones (including granite, marble, travertine, dolomite, and limestone), celestite, natural sulfates (aluminum potassium sulfate and sodium sulfate), amber, tungsten, agate, lapislazuli and talc. Iran also produces ferromanganese, ferromolybdenum, nepheline syenite, demantoids, phosphate rock, selenium, shell, andalusite, rockwool, garnet, gabbro, diorite, vermiculite, attapulgite, calcium, barium, rare earth elements, scandium, yttrium and zeolite, and had the capacity to mine onyx.
The government owns 90 per cent of all mines and related large industries in Iran and is seeking foreign investment for the development of the mining sector.