YEREVAN, May 16. / ARKA /. Construction of a copper smelter in Armenia’s southern region of Syunik would generate $1.2 billion drams of profit, said Vazgen Safaryan, the chairman of the Union of Domestic Producers, in comments on a statement by President Serzh Sargsyan on boosting domestic production of copper concentrate.
Earlier, Serzh Sargsyan said that the country could produce up to 100 thousand tons of copper concentrate a year.
Safaryan said last year the Zangezur Cooper and Molybdenum Combine in Syunik produced 175,000 tons of copper and more than 80% of it was exported. The rest was shipped to the Alaverdi Mining Metallurgical Plant in the north of the country for production of black copper.
According to Safaryan, the construction of a new smelter and a chemical plant in Syunik would cost $1.5 billion, but they can pay back in almost a year. He said the smelter may use some 50 million tons of ore accumulated over the last sixty years in local; tailings and 32 million tons of copper concentrate produced there.
If this amount is processed it would produce 3.6 tons of gold, 142 tons of silver, 176 tons of selenium, 220,000 tons of sulfur, 126 tons of pure refined copper and other precious metals .
According to the National Statistical Service, in January- March 2014 Armenia produced 46,400 tons of copper concentrate, up 16.3 percent from the year earlier. -0-