By Kamila Aliyeva
The Russian company, RosGeoPerspectiva, will carry out geological exploration work to find copper and gold in the promising areas of Kazakhtau and Kazakhtau 1 in Navoi region of Uzbekistan.
The Russian side and the State Committee of Uzbekistan for Geology and Mineral Resources have already prepared a draft agreement on geological exploration and pilot production in these areas.
In addition, Mistog company, which will act as the operator of the project, has been established in the country.
It is planned that RosGeoPerspectiva will carry out geological exploration work and pilot production at its own expense on the terms of entrepreneurial risk. In the first year, the company intends to invest at least $3 million in the project.
Uzbekistan, for its part, plans to grant the Russian company the right to use these sites for five years with a subsequent extension for the period necessary to complete the exploration and production operations.
In addition, the investor can be provided with a wide list of benefits and preferences, including exemption from payment of all types of taxes and mandatory payments to social funds, as well as from customs payments for five years.
The final version of the agreement between the parties will be approved by a special decree of the President of Uzbekistan, which is currently being developed by the State Committee for Geology.
Uzbekistan has large mineral reserves, which include more than 1,800 known mineral deposits. The country’s mineral resources include petroleum, natural gas, gold, silver, uranium, molybdenum, tungsten, coal, copper, zinc and lead. Uranium, copper and gold are the country’s chief minerals. The volume of proven and confirmed gold reserves in Uzbekistan is about 2,100 tons. The total reserves are approximately 3,350 tons.
Currently, according to the decision of the Uzbek government, 29 deposits and 111 promising areas of solid minerals are offered to foreign investors. They include 12 deposits and 31 promising areas for precious metals (gold, silver), 18 non-ferrous metals (copper, lead and zinc), 14 deposits as well as 51 areas for rare and rare-earth metals and uranium.
The lists of the deposits and promising areas offered to foreign investors will be updated every five years taking into account newly obtained geological information.
With regards to the gold, this list includes deposits of mainly gold-quartz and gold-sulfide ores in four regions of the country - Tashkent, Samarkand, Navoi regions, as well as the autonomous republic of Karakalpakstan. The total reserves of the proposed deposits (category C2) are more than 14.5 tons of gold.
Attraction of the foreign investors comes from the following factors. Firstly, Uzbekistan has significant resources for increasing capacities of the operating enterprise and creation of new ones. Secondly, the Republic possesses a highly developed efficiency of the mineral industry, a favorable infrastructure and highly skilled manpower. Thirdly, many deposits can be developed by open mining which is the cheapest method. Finally, Uzbekistan has the favorable investment climate provided by «The Subsoil Law» and a support by the governing bodies.
Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva
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