Under an agreement with Omani and Australian sides, $20 million will be released for the development of the Mehdi Abad mine, Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO) said, Press TV reported.
The open-pit project is being jointly financed by a consortium of Iranian, Omani and Australian companies, IMIDRO said.
Mehdi Abad, it said, holds the biggest deposits of zinc in the Middle East, estimated at more than 160 million tonnes. It also contains sizable reserves of lead, barite and mercury.
The venture includes stripping, extraction and construction of two 100,000-tonne zinc ore production and concentration plants.
Stripping is removal of overburden or overlying soil and rocks in mining.
According to IMIDRO, a separate line of investment has been secured for construction of a barite processing plant with a capacity to produce one million tonnes a year.
Iran possesses the world’s largest deposits of zinc, with copper, iron and uranium reserves ranking between ninth and 12th in the world.
The country sits on seven percent of the world’s mineral reserves, estimated worth around $800 billion. Mining, however, constitutes a meager share of Iran’s GDP, below one percent.
Angoran in northwestern Zanjan province is another major holder of zinc and lead deposits.Related Contents