The complex’s manager, Mansour Sheibani, said only about 9 million tons of minerals are left in the mine, 2 million tons of which are in underground reserves while the remaining are on the surface, Mehr News Agency reported.
Angouran is one of the oldest mines in the country, the extraction of which dates back to the 1960s. It has the capacity to produce 2.4 million tons of lead and zinc ingots per year.
“This year, the mine is expected to extract 750,000 tons of minerals. If the same extraction rate continues in the coming years, the mine will be exhausted by 2027,” said Sheibani.
This is while the chairman of Iran Lead and Zinc Industries and Mines Association, Yousef Moradlou, believes lack of accurate estimation about the remaining reserves in Angouran mine makes it nearly impossible to determine its depletion time.
He argued that conducting new exploration operations in Angouran region in the northwestern Zanjan Province could lead to discovery of more reserves.
Moradlou criticized the low quality and irregular supply of minerals by Angouran complex, noting that a number of lead and zinc processing facilities in the province rely on the input of raw material from Angouran for production.
Iran has over 220 million tons of proven zinc and lead ore reserves and is seeking to increase its production in the coming years by implementing plans formulated by the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization.