Uzbekistan hands functions of exploration of uranium, precious and nonferrous metals to Navoi and Almalyk

Uzbekistan, Tashkent, Sept. 13 / Trend D.Azizov /

Uzbekistan has handed over the function of exploring for uranium and precious metals from the State Geology and Mineral Resources Committee (Goskomgeo) to the Navoi Mining and Metallurgical Combine (NMMC, Navoi region) and the function of exploring for non-ferrous metals to Almalyk MMC (Tashkent region).

The relevant decree to transfer a number of functions from Goskomgeo to the Navoi and Almalyk MMCs ("On measures to further improve the efficiency of the organization and holding of exploration") was signed by President Islam Karimov.

According to the document, the committee will transfer to the Navoi MMC the function of exploring for precious metals, uranium and accompanying minerals in the whole country with the formation of the Geology of Precious Metals and Uranium Science and Production Center by late 2010.

Almalyk MMC was given the function of exploring for non-ferrous metals and associated minerals in the whole country, as well as additional exploration and operational intelligence about deposits of precious metals, with the formation of the Geology of Non-ferrous Metals Science and Production Center.

All exploration expeditions and specialized assets should be transferred to the Navoi and Almalyk MMCs by Jan. 1, 2011.

It is hoped that these measures will ensure the rapid development of mineral resources in Uzbekistan to increase the growth of industrial stocks and mining, carry out sustainable development of the leading basic sectors of the economy and expand export capacity.

After the reorganization, Goskomgeo will function to explore hydro resources, solid non-metallic minerals, ferrous metals, as well as to hold comprehensive geological studies to identify promising areas for mineral resources.

The State Mineral Reserves Commission will be withdrawn from the Goskomgeo structure and transferred to the Cabinet of Ministers.

According to the presidential decree, Goskomgeo, Navoi Mining and Almalyk MMC are exempt from customs duties for the import of equipment, technology and vehicles for exploration until Jan.1, 2017.

Financing of exploration will be carried out by the state budget.

The president instructed the government to approve the program of exploration for 2011-2016, providing necessary measures to revitalize and strengthen the material base of exploratory expeditions, services and other structures, within three months.

Navoi Mining is one of the major gold producers in Central Asia. The plant is fully owned by the state. The main gold-ore base of the enterprise is the Muruntau field (Central Kyzyl Kum). The plant includes two gold extracting plants - GMZ-2 in Zeravshan and GMZ-3 in Uchkuduk. NMMC is exclusive operator for the extraction, enrichment and export of uranium in Uzbekistan.

Processing of uranium is carried out on the hydrometallurgical plant GMZ-1 in Navoi.

The Almalyk Mining and Metallurgical Combine (AMMC, Almalik, Tashkent region) is the only copper producer in Uzbekistan. It produces refined copper (cathode), metallic zinc, lead concentrate and other products. The share of the combine is about 90 percent of the solver production and 20 percent of gold in the country.

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