Engineering & Mining Journal

FEB 2018

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REGIONAL NEWS - ASIA 18 E&MJ • FEBRUARY 2018 www.e-mj.com KAZ Minerals is building a second sul- phide ore concentrator at its Aktogay open-pit copper mine in East Kazakhstan province of Kazakhstan. The new plant will double Aktogay's sulphide ore pro- cessing capacity from 25 million to 50 million metric tons per year (mt/y), with production scheduled to begin in the sec- ond half of 2021 and to ramp up to full capacity in 2022. The current sulphide ore concentrator at Aktogay came into production in Feb- ruary 2017. The project began producing copper cathode from oxide ore in Decem- ber 2015. After startup of the second concentrator, production of copper in concentrate will in- crease from 90,000 mt/y to 170,000 mt/y from 2022 to 2027, supported by higher copper grades. Over the remaining mine life, when copper grades will be in line with the average resource grade of 0.34%, production of copper in concentrate will av- erage about 130,000 mt/y. Due to higher processing volumes, the life of the sulphide orebody will reduce from more than 50 years to approximately 28 years. Copper cathode production from oxide ore at Aktogay will continue unchanged at the current level of around 20,000 mt/y for the remaining eight-year life of the ox- ide deposit. Construction the new concentrator will be managed by the KAZ Minerals' proj- ects division. Contracts will be tendered in 2018. The company anticipates that the capital budget for the project will be about $1.2 billion, with approximately $200 million to be spent in 2018. The remaining expenditures will be incurred from 2019 to 2021. The mining fleet will be expanded and upgraded to support the higher ore throughput. Net cash costs of production at Ak- togay are forecast to remain at current levels of $1 to $1.20/lb of copper, with efficiency gains from larger-scale mining operations offsetting the effect of acceler- ated grade decline as processing volumes are brought forward. Sustaining capital expenditure will increase from a current range of $30 million to $40 million per year to $50 million to $60 million per year from 2022 onward. KAZ Minerals Chief Executive Oleg Novachuk said, "This expansion rep- resents an opportunity for our proven project team to deliver a strong return on investment from an asset we know well by replicating the existing sulphide plant. Our outlook for copper remains positive, and this development will help us to continue to grow in a tightening market. The capital expenditure over the period to 2021 for the expansion will be supported by strong cash flows from our new, low-cost operations at Bozshakol and Aktogay." India's HCL to Develop Greenfield Copper Deposit India's sole integrated copper produc- er, Hindustan Copper Ltd. (HCL) will develop a greenfield copper deposit in Malanjkhand in central state of Madhya Pradesh aiming to produce 500,000 tons of copper ore per year and commence production later this year. The project will also incorporate HCL's new waste management system wherein it would extract minerals and materials from copper ore tails (COT) from waste generated by beneficiation at its Malan- jkhand mines. The COT plant will have a capacity of 3.3 million ton per year. This would be part of HCL's capital investment to the tune of $781 million over the next three years to ramp up copper ore extraction capacity and cathode manufacturing. Elaborating on the domestic market, company officials said Indian demand for refined copper, which included copper cathode and wire rod, was estimated at 665,000 tons and domestic copper con- sumption was expected to rise in range of 6%-7% with demand from power and construction sector continuing to be key drivers of the local market. However, in a significant decision, HCL board of directors have decided not to appoint any foreign contractor as mine developer operator (MDO) for any of its future mining projects in the country. The decision was made in wake of HCL's face-off with Perth-based mining engineering firm, India Resource Ltd. (IRL). In exceptional cases, a foreign KAZ Minerals Building Second Concentrator at Aktogay The current sulphide ore concentrator at Aktogay (above) was commissioned in February 2017. (Continued on p. 23)

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