Industrial Development of Polymetallic Ore at Shalkiya Deposit in Kyzylorda Region with Processing Plant Construction

Type of Minerals

Major Elements: Zink (Zn), Associated Elements: Lead (Pb)  

Infrastructure and Description of the Area  

Shalkiya deposit is located 17 km to the northeast of Zhanakorgan town in Kyzylorda region in the south of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The nearest village that is also named Shalkiya is located 4 km south of the mine and was built in Soviet times to provide housing for the families of the miners. The current population of the village is about 5000 people. Shalkiya mine is laid with asphalt road, which is adjacent to the main road Kyzylorda – Shymkent near Zhanakorgan town. Through highway and railway, the communication routes of Zhanakorgan town is provided by transport access to the processing plant in Kentau town, as well as to the rest of the Republic of Kazakhstan, through Shymkent to Uzbekistan and China and through Kyzylorda to Russia.  

The deposit has its own railway line with length of 27 km, its own power lines are 16 km, own substation with 2 transformers of 40 MW for each, the availability of water, developed underground infrastructure.

History of the object

Shalkiya deposit was discovered in 1963. In 2001, the mine was acquired by Tau-Ken LLP, later renamed as ShalkiyaZinc LLP. In the period from 2002 to 2004 the maintenance works were conducted, the mining equipment was acquired. In March 2004, ore extraction at the mine has been renewed. It produced about 2 million tons of ore. In November 2008, due to a sharp drop in price for zinc and lead in the global crisis the mine production at Shalkiya was suspended in coordination with the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources. In June 2014, JSC «Samruk-Kazyna» has acquired 100% shares of ShalkiyaZinc Ltd JSC. In July 2014 the shares of ShalkiyaZinc Ltd JSC have been transferred to the authorized capital of Tau-Ken Samruk JSC.

Reserves/Resources and Brief Description of Geology  

The volume of ore reserves is 104 million tons of lead-zinc ore (3.4 million tons of zinc metal in ore, 0.9 million tons of lead metal in ore).

Current status

2016 – development of a project for the industrial development of the mine; elaboration of technological regulations; development of a Bank Feasibility Study (BFS).

June 12, 2017 – Loan Agreement with the EBRD – initially, the Project implementation strategy provided for a turnkey EPC scheme, which was the basic decision of the BFS and, accordingly, was accepted by the EBRD loan agreement. The results of the competitions held to select an EPC contractor showed the absence of companies ready to fully accept technological and financial guarantees for the project within the framework of the EPC format.

In January 2020, a strategy was adopted providing for the phased implementation of the project through design-procurement-construction.

In May 2020, the development of design and estimate documentation (DED) of the “Project” stage for the mine was completed, in August 2020, a positive industrial safety conclusion was received.

In December 2020, the DED of the stage “Project” for the factory was developed, in February 2021, the conclusion of the state examination for the factory was received.

In February 2021, the assessment of the reserves of the Shalkiya field according to JORC standards was completed.

From June 2020 to October 2021, tender procedures were conducted according to the EBRD rules for the selection of a mining contractor, a PMC engineer, engineering and the supply of technological equipment.

From January to October 2021, the loan was restructured with the EBRD, with the signing of loan agreements.

Mining operations started in November 2021, and construction of a processing plant and a tailings storage facility is planned to begin in 2022.

Additional Information and Notes

Project management is carried out by ShalkiyaZinc LTD JSC, a subsidiary of JSC NMC Таu-Кеn Samruk.