Zinc and Lead Concentrates

Two elements of zinc and lead often find together in nature. 70 percent of mineral zinc is obtained from ores that have mixture of zinc and lead all together. About 20% of mineral lead is produced from those ores in which lead concentrate is higher than zinc’s, and about 10 percent from which contain copper. Zinc and lead mines often are relatively rich in other elements such as cadmium, gallium and indium, which are usually extracted beside zinc and lead. Unfortunately, Iran lacks the required technology for extraction of such elements.

More than 43 mines of zinc and lead exist in Iran, of which more than half are inactive. The main zinc and lead mines in Iran are Angouran, Mehdi-Abad, Irankouh, Koushk, Emarat and Sormeh. At the present, total concentrate nominal capacity of Iran exceeds 2 million tons which just about half of that is active. Angouran is the dominant producer of zinc and lead concentrate, producing 800 thousand tons in 2015.

Mehdi-Abad, located in Yazd province, is one of the biggest reserves of zinc and lead in the world. This has turned Mehdi-Abad high potentially exploitable mine. Explorations by validated international companies have revealed that 116.5 million tons of sulfide ore and 45.2 million tons of oxide with zinc grade of 5.7% have been deposited in the mentioned area. At the moment this mine is being stripped.

The excavated ore from mine is proceeded to produce concentrates containing between 40 and 60 percent of zinc and lead. The concentrator units include storing and homogenizing, grinding, milling and sieving, hydrocyclone, thickeners, flotation and dewatering.

Global reserves of zinc have been estimated 200 million tons (contained zinc) in 2015. Iran, having 3.6 million tons, is ranked 10th. In terms of lead, global reserves have been approximated 89 million tons of contained lead, in which Iran has ranked 11th, having 1.5 million tons of lead.



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