Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 7
The President of Uzbekistan has approved a feasibility study of the investment project entitled as ""Muruntau" open pit mining (Priority 5) Stage 1", Podrobno.uz reported.
The project will ensure the replenishment of the retiring reserves of gold ore deposits within the boundaries of Priority 4 of the Muruntau open-pit mine and the loading of the production facilities of Navoi Mining and Metallurgical Complex (MMC) JSC with the ore having the necessary precious metals’ content.
The total value of the project will exceed $733 million, of which $ 445.9 million will be invested by the Navoi MMC, $288 million is a loan from the Fund for Reconstruction and Development of Uzbekistan.
Muruntau is one of the largest gold deposits in the world. It is situated in the mountains in the south-west of the Kyzyl Kum desert, on the territory of the Tamdyn district of the Navoiy region of Uzbekistan. The deposit was discovered in 1958, the industrial production of the metal was started on July 21, 1969.
It is the leading deposit of the Zarafshan gold mining complex, which ranks second in the world in terms of gold production volume (after the Grasberg enterprise in Indonesia). The largest (3.5 km long, 2.7 km wide, 600 meters deep) gold-mining quarry in the world was created for the development of the deposit.
Today about 38.5 million tons of ore are mined here annually. By 2026, it is planned to increase ore mining to 50 million tons.
Uzbekistan ranks fourth in the world in terms of gold reserves, and occupies the seventh place in the world in terms of volume of gold production. In addition, the country ranks second in gold production volume among the CIS countries (after Russia) and ranks first in terms of per capita share of the produced gold.