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2014: profit or not development of tungsten deposits in Uzbekistan?

The Uzbek government in early 2014 decides to be or not to be a project aimed at the resumption of development of tungsten deposits «Ingichka» (Samarkand region).

The project consists of two phases, the first of which is estimated at about 50 mln. USD and includes the rehabilitation of the underground mine with a view to resume production of tungsten ore in an amount not less than 300 thousand tons of annual capacity. The second phase involves the construction of the processing plant, but neither its cost nor potential power is undetermined.

Tungsten is mined at the deposit «Ingichka» since 1941, but in 1996 due to the fall in prices of work at the mine were suspended, and the mine itself is conserved. In this regard, the tungsten production was sharply reduced, in addition, work was carried out internally with tolling raw materials supplied from abroad.

In autumn 2012 an agreement was signed between South Korean company Energy Holdings and «Goskomgeo», which sets out a feasibility study for the project. Under the terms of the signed contract to the Korean company transferred the original geological data, and in the first half of 2013 should have been completed the feasibility study was planned to prepare for the signing of the founding documents of the joint venture.

By the way, not only Energy Holdings wants to lead the development of tungsten deposits, its compatriot, KU Shindong Resources, is preparing to start work in the Navoi region in the field «Sautbay», as in June 2013 and were signed constituent documents Goskomgeo the creation of the joint venture Uzbekistan-Korea Tungsten. The project does not come cheap: it will cost 145 million USD, the annual capacity of the future complex is planned for 1500 tonnes of tungsten concentrate… Opening «Sautbaya» in 2014 in time to coincide with the construction of GOK. In addition to «Sautbaya» JV base includes portions Burgut and Sagynkan.

Experts assessing the prospects of such projects, talk about successful with market prices, because in three years the price of tungsten concentrate per ton metric increased from 180 USD to 430 USD. Ilhat Tushev, who is an analyst Central Asua Investmnets, he expressed the hope that the agreements reached will help to increase the production of the precious metal in a fairly quick time, which, in turn, will help to prevent the uncontrolled increase in its value.

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