LONDON – Iran has signed a $1 billion deal with private investors to develop Mehdiabad, one of the world’s largest zinc mines, which it expects to go on stream in the next four years and produce 800,000 tonnes of zinc concentrate per year.
The state-owned Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organisation (IMIDRO) said in a weekend statement it signed the deal with a consortium of six private companies, led by Iran’s Mobin Mining and Construction Company.
According to media reports, Mehdiabad has zinc ore grades of between 2 to 4 percent, meaning 800,000 tonnes of zinc conentrate a year would add between 16,000 to 32,000 tonnes of refined zinc to the 13.7 million tonne per year global market.
IMIDRO, a state-owned mines and metals holding company, said Mobin was talking to international mining firms in Switzerland and Spain about joint ventures to develop the Mehdiabad mine, located in Iran’s Yazd Province.
Iran has struggled to lure foreign investors since it signed a deal in 2015 with six world powers to curb its nuclear program in return for the lifting of international sanctions against it.
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