Miner seeks investment to develop projects in Iran

copper neta623 pixabayPrivate Iranian company Mahan Company for Mines and Industries Development (MACMID) is seeking joint venture partners to help develop copper, steel and other projects in the country, according to managing director Ebrahim Sadeghi

According to Reuters, 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.

The group is seeking US$600mn 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 tonnes of copper a year by about 2019.

“We are looking to bring in international partners to jointly develop local deposits,” Sadeghi said through an interpreter on the sidelines of a mining conference. “Iran has some of the richest deposits in the Middle East – gold, copper and zinc.”

Construction of the Chah Firuzeh mine is about 20 per cent complete and Daralou is around 35 per cent complete, he said.

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 fertiliser business, and hopes to raise US$4bn in foreign investment after having secured US$1bn from local investors, Sardeghi said.

MACMID expected commodity prices to increase, while the copper projects would break even at prices as low as US$4,000 a tonne, he said. Copper is currently above US$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 added, due to capacity cuts in China and a global recovery.

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