RСС and Aktobe Region Sign Memorandum on Development of Investment Cooperation
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of RCC (the Russian Copper Company) Igor Altushkin and the Head of Aktobe Region of the Republic of Kazakhstan Berdybek Saparbaev have signed a memorandum on the development of investment cooperation.
The signing ceremony took place on 9th November 2017 at the 14th Forum for Interregional Cooperation between Russia and Kazakhstan, in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev. The parties agreed to cooperate in geological prospecting and commercial development of copper-zinc ore deposits in Kazakhstan’s Aktobe Region and to develop RCC’s regional production capacities.
RCC has had a presence in Kazakhstan since 2004, having invested USD 868 mln in the republic’s economy (including USD 128 mln in current projects). RCC’s Russian and Kazakh assets are integrated into a single production chain, thereby creating synergies in the economic development of the two countries’ border areas.
RCC’s Kazakh unit currently employs approximately 1,700 people and supports a further 600 jobs in local contractor organizations, thereby contributing over USD 1 mln per year to the budget of Aktobe Region. Since it came to Kazakhstan, RCC has invested heavily in its infrastructure development.
‘Since the establishment of the Russian Copper Company, Aktobe Region has been one of our top priorities. The region’s wealth of natural resources, support from regional authorities and proximity to the areas where our major Russian assets are concentrated make this cooperation fascinating and advantageous for us. And this is why we look forward to growing our investments in new projects, developing our local talents and the Aktobe community,’ said Igor Altushkin, Chairman of RCC’s Board of Directors.
‘Following instructions from Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Aktobe Region is working hard to attract foreign investment, including work with Russian partners. RCC has a track record as a responsible investor that adheres to the highest environmental standards and makes a significant contribution to the region’s social development. Investment cooperation with RCC translates into higher tax revenues, new jobs for highly skilled professionals and better quality of life,’ said Berdybek Saparbaev, Akim (Head) of Aktobe Region.
Aktobe Copper Company (ACC), RCC’s flagship enterprise in Kazakhstan, operates in the Hromtau District of Aktobe Region, extracting and processing copper and copper-zinc ores. ACC has a mining / concentration facility comprising two concentration plants with a total annual processing capacity of 5 mln tons of ore, and two mines exploiting the 50 Years of October and Priorskoe deposits. Its annual concentration capacity is 5 million t of copper-zinc ore, and it produces up to 60,000 t of copper concentrate and 45,000 t of zinc concentrate per year.
RCC has far-reaching ambitions for Kazakhstan. Under a program to expand its mineral resource base, the company plans to build an underground mine at the Vesenne-Aralchinskoye deposit with an annual capacity of up to 500,000 t of copper. This will be a unique project, because the southern part of the deposit lies in the Hromtau District of Kazakhstan’s Aktobe Region and the northern part in the Dombarovo District of Russia’s Orenburg Region.
Additionally, RCC plans to develop two deposits: Kundyzdy (an open-pit mine with an annual capacity of up to 2 million t of copper-zinc ore); and Limannoe (an open-pit mine with an annual capacity of up to 1.5 million t).
The launch of commercial ore extraction at Vesenne-Aralchinskoye is scheduled for early 2019. Commercial operations at Kundyzdy and Limannoe will start in 2019 and 2022, respectively. As the total reserves of the three new deposits are estimated at around 70 million t, these projects will ensure uninterrupted operation of ACC’s facilities for many years to come.
Commissioning the new mines in Kazakhstan will require redevelopment of ACC’s processing facilities. Given that practically 100% of the ore will soon be copper-zinc, the company's first concentration plant will have to be drastically reengineered with a new technological focus on copper and zinc concentrates. After reengineering, at an approximate investment cost of KZT 6.3 bn, ACC’s output of zinc concentrate will be almost double its present level.