Refined copper cathode production by major Iranian smelters was stable in the 11-month period ending February 19 despite illegal American sanctions.
According to a report on Sunday, main Iranian smelters churned out a total of 224,331 metric tons of cathodes in the period, stable as the similar period spanning 2017-2018.
However, copper anode production in two main smelters of the country fell four percent year on year on 274,250 tons, said the report which cited data from IMIDRO, Iran’s largest metals holding group.
The report said that output from copper ore mining across Iran also dropped by three percent between March 2019 and February 2020 at just more than 156 million tons.
Copper concentrate production in three main smelters of Meiduk, Sungun and Sarcheshmeh was stable year on year in February at 1.85 million tons, the report added.
However, sales and exports by NICICO, Iran’s main copper company, surged by 145 percent to 200 trillion rials or $1.3 billion, it said, adding that monthly sales in February topped nearly $120 million.
The surge in revenues comes despite a series of harsh American sanctions targeting Iran’s trade of lucrative metals.
The bans, enacted in May 2019, came after Washington failed in its attempt to deprive Iran of its main source of foreign currency revenues which is the sale of crude.
Sanctions on the oil industry has caused a boom in Iran’s mining and metals sector as exports of raw material and finished products keeps surging.
A government minister said last month that the country holds around 50 billion metric tons of proven mineral wealth.
Authorities have said that discoveries carried out over the past few years have led to a significant increase in Iran’s proven mineral wealth which includes at least 60 different minerals.
Early in March, Iranian First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri underlined Washington's failure in sanctions against Iran's metal industries.
"The US was after metal sanctions against Iran but it failed to trouble the country's industries," Jahangiri said, addressing a ceremony in the Northeastern city of Semnan on March 09.