Uzbekistan to mine up to 74 million tons of copper ore per year at new deposit

Business Materials 16 September 2019 11:54 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 16

By Fakhri Vakilov-Trend:

The Almalyk Mining and Metallurgical Combine (AMMC) of Uzbekistan plans to mine up to 74 million tons of copper ore per year at the Yoshlik 1 mine, said Chief Engineer of the Directorate for the implementation of investment projects "Yoshlik 1" and "Yoshlik 2" Arif Akhrorhodzhaev, Trend reports citing Uzbek media.

Work on the development of the Yoshlik 1 field was launched upon the decision of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev in 2017.

Today, over 1330 people work at the field. Furthermore, 54 Belarusian BelAZ mining dump trucks, drilling rigs and excavators are operating there. Stripping operations have already been completed in the volume of 26 million cubic meters.

The first extraction of copper ore at Yoshlik 1 is planned to be carried out in 2021. Initially, it was planned to mine about 23 million tons of ore per year at the mine, but later the capacity was revised as three-fold compared to the initial figure.

"It is planned to increase ore production gradually. The mine should reach an annual rate of 65 million tons by 2023, and 74 million tons by 2035. The number of workers will also increase. It is expected that 6,000 people will get permanent work after the mine will begin working at full capacity, "said Akhrorhodzhaev.

The total project cost for developing a new field is about $1.7 billion. Within the project, another plant will appear in the country with its own quarry and processing complex including an enrichment plant, a smelter with sulfuric acid and oxygen production.

Almalyk Mining and Metallurgical Combine is the only copper producer in Uzbekistan. The company produces refined copper, metallic zinc, molybdenum, lead concentrate and other products.

AMMC accounts for about 90 percent of silver production and 20 percent of gold in the country. Since August 2018, the state share in the enterprise was transferred to the trust management of the foreign company SFI Management Group.


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