- New explorations carried out by Iran Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization in Zarshooran gold mine in West Azarbaijan Province have increased the mine’s proven reserve to 108 tons, making it the richest gold mine in the country.
“Further explorations in the area are expected to increase the reserve’s estimated capacity to 150 tons, which will turn West Azarbaijan into the gold hub of the country,” IMIDRO’s vice chairman, Amir Sabbagh, told Mehr News Agency.
The recent discoveries were part of a 12,000-square-meter excavation carried out in the region in collaboration with the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade and the Geological Survey of Iran.Domestic Production
IMIDRO is planning to finalize the bidding process for the construction of the second phase of the gold mine before the end of the current Iranian year (March 19, 2016), announced the official.
“Once operational, the plant would boost the country’s gold production to 6 tons per year from the current 5.5 tons,” he added.
The first phase of Zarshooran gold mine was inaugurated by First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri in November last year.
The mine, located 35 kilometers from Takab town in northwestern province of West Azarbaijan, draws on a special method developed by an Iranian company, which uses chemical reactions for extracting gold.
More than $44 million have been invested on the development of the mine which, in addition to gold, has the capacity to produce 2.5 tons of silver and 1 ton of mercury per year.IME Offering
Sabbagh announced that gold ingots produced in the mine will soon be offered at the Iran Mercantile Exchange in accordance with IME’s trading regulations.
“The IME admission process has already been taken care of and Zarshooran gold ingots will enter the mercantile exchange as soon as they reach the required standards,” he said, without elaborating.
Plans to offer the precious metal at IME were announced last year by IMIDRO head Mehdi Karbasian, who is also the deputy minister of industries, mining, and trade, with the aim of supporting the producers.
According to Karbasian, IME’s offering will help improve transparency in contracts and create fair competition among traders and buyers.
Richest Gold Reserve
Zarshooran gold mine, with a proven reserve of 108 tons and an output of 3 tons of ingots per year with a grade of 4.5 grams per ton, is the richest gold mine in the country out of the total 74 discovered gold reserves and six major gold mines, according to IMIDRO.
Dashkasan gold mine in the western province of Kurdestan comes second with 63 tons of estimated reserve, followed by Agh Darreh and Kharavan in northwestern Iran each with a capacity of 30 tons. Kouh-Zar in the northeastern Khorasan Razavi Province with 15 tons and Mouteh in the central Isfahan Province with 14 tons of gold reserve are ranked fourth and fifth biggest gold mines respectively.
In terms of the grade of recovered gold, Kharavan (4 grams per ton), Kouh-Zar (3.3), Agh Darreh (2.7) and Mouteh (2.5) follow Zarshooran respectively.