Baikal Mining Company, owned by the holding company belonging to a Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, announced on Tuesday the beginning of construction of a giant mining and metallurgical plant Udokan at the similarly-named copper deposit in Trans-Baikal.
According to the Director General at Baikal Mining Company, Yury Ryabov, the company starts preparing a construction site and infrastructure of the future plant, concluding contracts with contractors, purchasing the necessary equipment, while the project documentation has already been submitted for state expertise.
As a reference, Udokan is one of the world’s largest undeveloped copper deposits with reserves of about 26,7 million tons. Discovered in the 1940s, the enterprise is located in a remote area of the Trans-Baikal Territory in the conditions of permafrost and high seismic activity, while it is characterized by a technologically complex composition of ores.
The annual production capacity of the first phase of the enterprise will be 12 million tons, with the subsequent development up to 48 million tons. The plant's products will be cathode copper and sulfide concentrate. Commissioning of the first phase is scheduled for 2022.
Alisher Usmanov is a Russian business magnate born in Uzbekistan. According to Forbes, in 2017, the oligarch had an estimated net worth of $15,1 billion.