Demand for Iran’s copper outpaces supply despite US sanctions

The CEO of the National Iranian Copper Industry Company (NICICO) has said that for a first time in the country’s history the sector is facing a higher demand than current supply and output levels despite a series of American sanctions that seek to stifle Iran’s lucrative trade of metals.

30 December 2019
ID : 22250
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The CEO of the National Iranian Copper Industry Company (NICICO) has said that for a first time in the country’s history the sector is facing a higher demand than current supply and output levels despite a series of American sanctions that seek to stifle Iran’s lucrative trade of metals.

“For a first time in the history of Iran’s copper industry the sales of NICICO have outpaced the amount of output,” said Ardeshir Sa’admohammadi on Sunday.

The comments come amid an unprecedented boom in Iran’s metals and mining sector as the country seeks to diversify the economy away from oil.

Unlike oil sales which have stumbled due to the US sanctions, Iran’s trade of metals has been spared of a series of similar bans enacted since May this year. That has been largely due to the fact that the United States has been unable to spot the original source of the cargoes exported from Iran via third countries.

The map shows Iran's main copper mines in northwestern and southeastern regions. The mines are managed by the National Iranian Copper Industry Company (NICICO).

Sa’admohammadi said another reason for Iran’s booming copper exports is a surging demand in the international markets as the precious metal in being increasingly used in industries that are gearing toward electrification.

Reports earlier this year suggested Iran was making huge investments for development of the copper industries located northwest of the country where the NICICO seeks easier access to the markets in Turkey and Europe.

However, a bulk of the copper exports from Iran is still supplied through a traditional hub of mines and smelters located in southeast Kerman.

The NICICO head said on Sunday that more than 310 million euros had been spend on a massive copper production site that will come on line within the next few months. He said the project, located in an area some 80 kilometers to the west of Kerman, includes a smelter, an oxygen facility, an acid production unit and a warehouse.

 

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