According to Shakouri based on the mentioned plan which has been drafted by the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO), the country’s copper cathode output is expected to reach 800,000 tons per annum by 2025.
He put the country’s current copper cathode production at over 300,000 tons adding that the one-million-ton goal will be achieved by the cooperation of private sectors and the development of current projects.
“The world's movement towards the use of clean technologies and innovations will increase the consumption of non-ferrous metals such as copper, and in the coming years, there will be a need to supply copper up to four times today,” Shakouri said.
The increase in demand will increase the price of copper, and accordingly, we must move towards completing the copper chain in Iran, he added.
“Today, the copper chain is complete with cathode production in the country, while more than 50 percent of the copper cathode is being exported, and if we can create more added value in this sector, we will have more exports and gain more revenue,” Shakouri concluded.
Production of copper cathode in Iran rose 2.8 percent in the past Iranian calendar year 1400 (ended on March 20), from its previous year, Industry, Mining and Trade Ministry has previously reported.
As reported, the country produced 299,000 tons of the product in the past year.
Copper cathode is the primary raw material input for the production of copper rods for the wire and cable industry.
In May, Shakouri said that according to forecasts copper production in the world by 2050 should reach four times the current level which is over 1.8 million tons.
Being located on the Alpine-Himalayan orogenic belt, of which about 12.5 percent is located in Iran, the country should contribute greatly to the fourfold increase in the world’s copper production by 2050, Shakouri said.
Stressing the need for planning to increase Iran's share in the world’s copper production, he added: "To increase our share in the global copper production in the 2050 horizon, we must develop both exploration and extraction and discover new world-class reserves.”
According to the official, Iran Copper Association is currently leading the country’s copper exploration programs in collaboration with the private sector.
“New copper mines recently discovered in Sistan-Baluchestan Province (in the southeast of the country) have been the result of such efforts,” he said.
Shakouri stressed that the mining sector, especially in the field of copper, has a bright future considering the elimination of fossil fuels and the movement towards new technologies, saying: “If the country’s mining capacities in the copper field are realized, given the rising global prices for the mentioned product, at least $10 billion of revenues could be generated for the country, along with creating more employment and production which ensures the development of deprived regions.”
The official noted that currently, most of the country’s copper cathode production is exported due to the underdevelopment of downstream industries.
"The government should support downstream industries, including wire and cable production units, and provide incentives to other high-tech industries that use copper products,” Shakouri stressed.