Big Interview

The Leader of Non-Ferrous Metallurgy in Commonwealth of Independen States


     Thanks to the policy pursued by the President of Uzbekistan to create a favorable investment climate, today a generous amount of large-scale investment projects are being implemented in our country, a significant part of which is implemented by the leader in copper production in Central Asia – Almalyk Mining and Metallurgical Combine.
     With the increase in demand for renewable energy sources and electric vehicles in the coming years, it is predicted a noticeable increase in the demand for copper products in the world and the role of the Almalik Mining and Metallurgical Combine in the development of industrial power in Uzbekistan is increasing.
     We talked about these and other equally relevant topics with Abdulla Kholmuradovich KHURSANOV, Chairman of the Board of the Almalyk MMC Joint Stock Company, whose interview opens our next thematic issue dedicated to the activities of the enterprise that provides a significant part of the country’s economic power – the Almalyk Mining and Metallurgical Combine.
     – Abdulla Khalmuradovich, at the moment the most important task for JSC «Almalyk Mining and Metallurgical Plant» is the implementation of an investment project for the development of the “Yoshlik I” field, launched in accordance with the decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Tell us about this unique project.
     – The implementation of major projects in the sphere of non-ferrous metallurgy in the country is one of the important factors in ensuring high economic growth of the republic.
     The rapid development of the «green» economy in the world has led to an increase in demand for copper and non-ferrous metals, which is, in its turn, contributed to the creation of favorable conditions on the world market and creates prerequisites for the further development of our plant.
     Taking this into consideration, the launch of the largest project to expand the production of non-ferrous and precious metals on the basis of deposits of the Almalik Mining and Metallurgical Combine plays an important role in the economy of the Republic of Uzbekistan. The project will significantly increase the capacity of the plant for the extraction and processing of ore, with a doubling of the revenues received.
     Works on the project «Development of the Yoshlik I field» was laid in 2017 on the basis of a separate decision of the President. In 2020, the final parameters of the project were approved, providing for the achievement of production of 400 thousand tons of copper cathode, 50 tons of gold and 270 tons of silver by 2028. In general, the project will provide an increase in the volume of copper production by 250 thousand tons, gold – by 33 tons and silver – by 110 tons.
     Its implementation is envisaged in 2 stages. At the first stage, a quarry for the extraction of 60 million tons of ore, the 3rd processing plant for its processing will be put into operation, additional facilities of the metallurgical complex will be created, which will increase the capacity of the JSC «Almalik Mining and Metallurgical Plant «to 300 thousand tons of copper cathode and 38 tons of gold.
     At the second stage, it is planned to increase the capacity of the quarry to 105 million tons of ore, the commissioning of the fourth processing plant for 60 million tons, the expansion of metallurgical redistribution in order to achieve the planned parameters of 2028.
     As part of the investment project, an EPC contract was signed with a consortium of Uralmashzavod PJSC and Enter Engineering Pte for the development of the Yoshlik I field, and the construction of a third enrichment plant worth $ 2.0 billion.
For today, more than 570 units of high-performance mining equipment have already been purchased, over 100 million cubic meters of stripping operations have been completed, and a third processing plant and infrastructure facilities are being built. For 5 years, the project has carried out works ‘n amount over $ 970 million.
     Beginning from 2022, a phased commissioning of the project’s production facilities is envisaged: an explosives plant, external water, gas and electricity supply facilities, an automated mining equipment control system, a cyclic-flow technology for transporting ore, a lime plant for 360 thousand tons. The commissioning of the third copper processing plant and all infrastructure facilities are scheduled for IV quarter 2023.
     It should be noted that in accordance with the instructions of the Head of State given during his visit to Almalik in December 2021, a new Concept for the implementation of the project has been developed. According to this concept, due to the commissioning of two more new processing plants No. 4 and 5, the total capacity of the JSC «Almalik Mining and Metallurgical Plant” for ore processing will be increased to 220 million tons, which is more than the capacity of the largest enterprises of Chile, Peru, Mexico and the USA. The implementation of the planned plan will provide employment for more than 11 thousand people.
     – According to the Development Strategy of New Uzbekistan for 2022-2026, was assigned a task for a twofold increasing the volume of production of copper and other products using copper, as well as to create a basis for the production of 8 billion Uzbek soums. What is being done today at the plant to implement these tasks?
     – It is a known fact that, the demand for copper and non-ferrous metals in the world market is great. Taking into consideration this fact, it becomes apparent that another urgent task facing the plant today becomes obvious – the development of a copper cluster. Based on expert estimates. The global copper demand is expected to pick up by 40 percent by 2030. This, whereas, necessitates deep processing of copper cathodes produced by the JSC «Almalik Mining and Metallurgical Plant” and the transition to the production of products with high added value. Currently revenues from the sale of copper are about 2.5 billion dollars. Taking into account the related industries as copper production increases in to 400 thousand tons in the next five years, this figure, may reach 7-8 billion US dollars.
     On June 24, 2021, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev signed the Resolution «On Additional Measures for the Development of the Mining and Metallurgical Industry and Related Industries», which provides for the creation of a scientific and technological cluster for the manufacturing of copper products and finished products with high added value in related industries and a special commission headed by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan was formed. Within its framework, a new system of interaction between science and production will be established on the basis of advanced foreign experience in the development of an interconnected system of design and engineering services, research and development work, transfer of modern technologies, introduction of innovations and digital technologies, as well as improvement of existing ones. In order to implement the resolution, the Copper Industry Cluster Development Service was created in the structure of the plant. Its main goal is to increase export potential through the manufacturing of finished higher-value-added product of copper and increase the volume of processing of rough copper. To develop the concept of the cluster, the leading foreign consulting company in the field of management, design and development – HATCH – was involved and in cooperation with it, the work has been established to determine the position of Uzbekistan in the international market for the production of finished copper products. By 2029, within the framework ‘t is planned of the cluster deep processing of 320 thousand tons of copper.
You can read the whole interview in the printed version of the magazine.


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