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Iranian Miner Seeks $4b for Copper, Steel Projects

Iranian Miner Seeks $4b for Copper, Steel ProjectsIranian Miner Seeks $4b for Copper, Steel Projects

A private Iranian company is seeking joint venture partners to help develop copper, steel and other projects in the country, managing director of Mahan Company for Mines and Industries Development, Ebrahim Sadeqi, said on Tuesday.

MACMID has two copper mines already under development, the Chah Firuzeh mine and the Daralou mine, both of which are being developed with a conglomerate that includes state-owned National Iranian Copper Industries Company, Reuters reported

The group is seeking $600 million from one or more international joint venture partners to help develop the two copper mines and associated processing plants, each aiming to produce about 26,000 tons of copper a year by about 2019.

“We are looking to bring in international partners to jointly develop local deposits,” Sadeqi said through an interpreter on the sidelines of a mining conference.

“Iran has some of the richest deposits in the Middle East. Gold, copper zinc.”

Sadeqi noted that the construction of Chah Firuzeh mine is about 20% complete and Daralou is around 35% complete.

MACMID was set up in 2013 as a private joint stock company, backed by Iran’s Tourism Financial Group.

“It eventually aims to put in place a range of projects, including production of steel slab and a fertilizer business, and hopes to raise $4 billion in foreign investment after having secured $1 billion from local investors,” he said.

MACMID had a mandate to use European technology only in its development projects.

The managing director said the investment climate in Iran had improved since the lifting of a range of nuclear sanctions in mid-January.

“The climate is not cold; the process just takes time,” he said.

Sadeqi noted that MACMID expected commodity prices to increase, while the copper projects would break even at prices as low as $4,000 a ton.

Copper is currently above $5,000.

“In 2018, it is going to be a better market for iron ore and steel. It won’t be a return to the golden age, but it won’t be as bad as 2016, 2017,” he said, due to capacity cuts in China and a global recovery.

 

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