Economy, Business And Markets

Sungun Copper Mine Capacity Doubles

Sungun Copper Mine Capacity DoublesSungun Copper Mine Capacity Doubles

The second phase of Sungun copper concentration plant, which was inaugurated last week, is an advanced copper recovery plant with state-of-the-art equipment that enables it to recover up to 92% of the available copper from the extracted ores; ISNA quoted the plant’s project manager, Hoseein Saghafi as saying.

The copper concentration plant in East Azerbijan province was inaugurated by first vice-president, Es’haq Jahangiri and the minister of industry, mine, and trade, Mohammad-Reza Nematzadeh on February 7th.

The plant can recover 150,000 tons of copper concentrate of 26% grade from 7 million tons of 0.66% grade copper ore extracted from the mine, doubling the plant’s existing capacity to 300,000 tons, according to the managing director of the National Iranian Copper Industries Company, Ahmad Moradalizade.

The extracted copper ores from Sungun deposit are currently transported to Sarcheshmeh copper complex in Kerman province, but could be exported to neighboring countries such as Armenia and Azerbaijan once the existing difficulties caused by imposition of sanctions against Iran are eased, said Morad-Alizadeh.

The construction of Sungun copper concentration plant began in 2010 by Khatamol Anbia engineering company in collaboration with a Danish company, with total investment of 95 million euro ($83.5 million) and 2,470 billion rial ($72.6 million), said Moradalizade, adding that the project is expected to create 200 direct and more than 1000 indirect jobs.

Sungun copper deposit is located in a mountainous area 100 kilometers north east of Tabriz, the capital of East Azerbaijan province, enjoying proximity to Armenia and Azerbaijan countries. The mine is estimated to have more than 700 million tons of grade 0.661% copper ore reserves.

Moradalizade also announced the construction of a limestone processing plant with the capacity of 150 tons per day to be launched in the beginning of next Iranian year (starting March 21).

As part of his inaugural speech, the first vice-president, Es’haq Jahangiri called for more private sector investment in mining projects, noting that a mine extraction fund has been allocated by the government to mitigate the risks association with mine exploration activities.