Amin Safari, Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Industries Development of the MMDIC said that the first exploration problem in the field of lead and zinc is the view of the government which is mainly focused on the field of steel industry.
Safari said: “Earlier it was stated that we do not have a comprehensive view of the lead and zinc industry and global information was considered sufficient; but now we can see that we have comprehensive information in this area and the situation of the country is monitored annually.” Accordingly, a comprehensive plan for the lead and zinc industry was developed in 1399, and a 20-year horizon for the lead and zinc industry has been also considered. Now the per capita consumption of lead in Iran is 1 and globally, it is 6. This means that we should increase it by changing the per capita consumption.
He added: “Currently, the total metal reserves contain 12.5 million tons and also 5% of the world’s lead reserves belong to Iran, which is equivalent to 4 million tons and most of it is located in Mahdiabad lead and zinc mine.” This mine has the capability of producing 400,000 tons of 50% concentrate.
The Deputy Minister of MMDIC emphasized: 3.8% of our extraction is in the lead sector. We also produce 1.5 percent of ingots, which will increase to 3 percent by adding of Mahdiabad. By the end of last year, 208,000 tons of zinc ingots have been produced.
Safari stated: At present, the nominal production capacity of ingots is 474 thousand tons, which includes 208 thousand tons of real production of zinc ingots and 1 million tons of lead capacity. Zinc production must be tripled to reach a reasonable global level, in which case we need a serious plan, government assistance, and the presence of the private sector in order to increase per capita consumption.
He emphasized that the maximum production capacity of ingots is currently 30,000 tons, which is a long way from other countries. One of the reasons is the depleted, small, and unprofitable factories in this industry.
Exploration and extraction of lead and zinc is a need of the country
He noted: “Unfortunately, we are lagging behind in mining and almost no special work has been done in the field of exploration in this sector, because either the explorations were done in the past or has been done following the actions of iron ore stakeholders in the country.” There must be a revolution in the field of exploration of the country. Angouran will have its reserves minimized for the next 4 years. Investors need to move towards the latest technologies in the world. We are looking for such measures at MMDIC.
“The first exploratory problem is the view of the government which is mainly focused on the steel industry,” said the deputy director of the MMDIC. Ten deep drilling rigs have been ordered by the Mines and Metals Development Company for the exploration sector, and fortunately the private sector has entered the field. Chadormalou Company has also purchased and imported deep drilling machines.
He said: “The world’s reserves are mostly sulfide, but due to having Angouran in our country, Iran has established leaching factories and more than 90% of our factories are oxide.”
Safari concluded: “The comprehensive plan for lead and zinc is a clear view for the government and investors.” In this area, we must increase exports and consumption.
Source: Madan Nameh