Northern Katpar Tungsten-Molybdenum Ore Exploration and Production Project in Karaganda region

Type of mineral

The main element: tungsten (W)

Associated commercial elements: molybdenum (Mo), copper (Cu), bismuth (Bi)

Brief project description

The deposit is located in the Uspenskaya shear zone and is confined to the downthrown limestone block of the Upper Devonian – Mississippian period. Late Permian granites forming the dome of Akmain landmass are encountered in the central part of the deposit at a depth of 400-600 m. Limestone forming the bulk of the deposit area is marbled and skarnified in the superintrusive zone. Skarnified veins and veinlets in the central part of the deposit form the powerful 300x400m steeply dipping southward stockwork deposit. It is traced 500m dip. The deposit thickness is reduced to the flanks and the stockwork is getting lenticular and sheetlike.

There are three ore types within the deposit: 1 – oxidized ores in the residual soil; 2 – skarn-greisen ores in the marbleized limestone; 3 – quartz greisen ores in granites.

Here, the most valuable are the skarn-greisen type of the tungsten-molybdenum ores with associated copper and bismuth in skarnified limestone. Mineralization is confined to the skarn-greisen 1-10cm veinlets of different trends. Based on sampling, the four skarn-greisen bodies are outlined within the stockwork. The largest of them having a lenticular shape swelled in the central part, which is 800m long and 5-200m thick, is traced 400m dip. The ore minerals in the form of spread impregnations and small clusters are concentrated mainly in the fluorite veins.

The major geological peculiarities of the Northern Katpar are:

  • Flat and hummocky topography with relative altitudes up to 5-10 m, the surface is generally tending from the south and west to the north and east (absolute height is 698 – 707.8m);
  • mineralization depth is 2 to 520 m;
  • the ore bodies are steeply dipping, some of them are inclined and deposited horizontally;
  • ore bodies thickness varies from 10 to 370m;
  • the ore bodies shape is sheetlike, elliptical, twisty, swelled, sickle-shaped, lenticular;
  • three ore types are identified within the deposit: oxidized ores in the clay and the clay-rubbly residual soil, skarn-greisen ores in the marbleized limestone and quartz greisen ores in granites;
  • the deposit has mainly a two-level structure, the upper level is formed ofnon-cohesive and cohesive soil, while the lower level is formed of dislocated rock formations (marbleized limestone, marbles, skarns, siltstone, sandstone, metasomatites, granite, diorite, diabase porphyrites);
  • thickness of the loose capping beds varies from 0 to 220 m, averaging to 36 m;
  • the area is seismically quiet.
  • the ores are complex skarn- greisen type, free-milling.

Balance reserves

The North Katpar has been explored since 1973. In 1982, the pre- exploration was finished and during 1987-1993, it was explored more close, she was finished. April 14, 1995 RK SRC approved the Northern Katpar mineral reserves.

As of 01.01.2001 balance reserves of the deposit primary ores within the quarry outline are as follows: 40,169 thousand tons of ore, WO3 – 90,493 tons (WO3 – 0.225%), molybdenum – 13,927 tons (MoS2 – 0.035%), bismuth – 5,835 tons (0.014%), copper – 57.0 thousand ton (0. 14%) by C1 + C2 Category.


C1 + C2

Ore, Kt


WO3, t


Mo, t


Bi, t


Cu, Kt


Current status and a summary of the planned activities

Experimental and industrial tests were carried out and technological regulations were developed for the design of a concentrating mill and hydrometallurgical processing for the processing of tungsten-molybdenum-copper-bismuth ore at the Severnyi Katpar deposit.

The draft appraisal work on additional exploration of the North Kathpar tungsten deposit was approved by the Committee of Geology and Subsoil Use of the MIR RK.

The work on pumping water from the North Kathpar deposit quarry has been completed. The works on additional exploration of the North Katpar deposit are being carried out.