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Foreign Affairs


TEHRAN, Deputy Industry, Mine and Trade Minister Mehdi Karbasian announced that talks are underway between Tehran and the Russian companies to invest in Iran's mining sector.

"The potential for 1-bln-dollar foreign investment of Russians in this field has been foreseen and there is no restriction in this regard if a number of challenges and banking problems will be resolved and we hope that the final contract will be inked with the Russian side as soon as possible," Karbasian, who is also the head of the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO), said.

He explained that a number of giant Russian companies have come to Iran after the Iranian president's recent visit to Moscow to cooperate in the mining sector.

In relevant remarks in May, Karbasian had said that Russia's UMMC Holding had started negotiations to participate in projects to increase Iran's production of strategic metals such as copper, zinc, and gold.

He reiterated that a good potential existed for cooperation with the UMMC given the wide range of the activities in which the Russian company has been involved in.

The UMMC Holding could be involved in the development of Mehdiabad Zinc Mine which is Iran's biggest mine in this category, Karbasian said.

Mehdiabad, a zinc, lead and silver deposit, has 154 million tons of proven reserves, according to IMIDRO, which expects the reserves to reach 700 million tons once exploration is completed. The mine has zinc ore grades of between 2 to 4 percent, meaning 800,000 tons of zinc concentrates per year would add between 16,000 to 32,000 tons of refined zinc to the 13.7 million ton per year global market. -- NNN-FNA


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