The investor – Xiamen Tungsten Co. Ltd., is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of the production made of tungsten, molybdenum and rare earth metals, it has extensive experience in the development of tungsten deposits.
According to the terms of the agreement concluded by JSC NMC Tau-Ken Samruk and Xiamen Tungsten, a Kazakh-Chinese joint venture will be engaged in mining and enrichment of the Upper Kairakty and Northern Katpar tungsten deposits (Karaganda region).
Two mining and processing plants will be built on the basis of the Northern Katpar and Upper Kairakty deposits (the production capacity of the enterprises will be 2.6 and 6.0 million tons of ore, respectively) and a single hydrometallurgical complex of deep processing.
The cost of construction of the production facilities is about US$755 million. The start of operating activities is planned for 2023 (Northern Katpar) and 2025 (Upper Kairakty). Finished products is ammonium paratungstate, and in the future it will be tungsten powders and tungsten carbides. It is also planned to simultaneously produce molybdenum, bismuth and copper concentrates.
The project implementation will provide tax revenues to the budget in the amount of about US$1 billion, the construction of new and reconstruction of existing infrastructure facilities, more than 2.5 thousand job places will be created. In addition, new prospects are opening up for the development of a rare-metal cluster and the revival of the tungsten industry: Kazakhstan will get access to the latest technologies in the field of enrichment and processing of rare and rare-earth metals.
The Upper Kairakty and Northern Katpar deposits are located 30 km from each other in the Shetsky district of the Karaganda region. The reserves of tungsten were partially explored in the 70s of the last century, but industrial development has not yet been launched. The main reason is the lack of enrichment technology in Kazakhstan, corresponding to the characteristics of the ore.
In 2018, National Company Tau-Ken Samruk clarified data on the reserves of the Upper Kairakty and Northern Katpar deposits (1 million 213 thousand tons and 90 thousand tons of tungsten, respectively). Surveying, geophysical and laboratory and analytical studies were conducted with the involvement of domestic and foreign experts.
FOR REFERENCE: Ammonium paratungstate is used to obtain heavy-duty, wear-resistant, heat-resistant materials used in mechanical engineering, machine-tool construction, instrument-making, etc. Secondary use of ammonium paratungstate si the production of tungstic acid for the production of enamels and paints, as well as production of ammonium metatungstate and other compounds of tungsten used as additives for the petrochemical industry.