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Kyrgyzaltyn mines. How to transform loss into profit

This week, MPs discussed the state of affairs at Kyrgyzaltyn mines. The MPs are sure that everything is bad, very bad. Kyrgyzaltyn does not hide the problems, though it does not writhe in hysterics. The head of the company Almaz Alimbekov believes that there is a way out of the difficult situation.

Why is everything so bad?

Problems of Makmal reached the walls of the Parliament. Last week, the state of affairs at the gold mine was discussed by the parliamentarians of the committee on the fuel and energy complex and subsoil use. It was also attended by the head of Kyrgyzaltyn Almaz Alimbekov.

He told that Makmal reserves are depleted. With the remaining ore reserves on the lower horizons of the mine and the achieved productivity (ore extraction — 20,000–22,000 tons per month), the plant can work for 1.5 years — until the end of the first half of 2018. The sharp deterioration in geological, economic and mining technical conditions because of years of intense mining of the richest near-surface ore reserves also has its impact.

The average content of gold in the ore decreased 2–3 times, occurrence depth increased by almost 120 meters from the bottom of the pit. Development costs have increased dramatically.

We should not forget that the equipment at the plant is morally and technically obsolete. The situation is further aggravated by uncontrollable rock collapses.

Solton-Sary. Not less problems

Another Kyrgyzaltyn mine — Solton-Sary does not work at all now. Talant Kazakov, Deputy Chairman of the Board of the Company for Production and Exploration, noted in his conversation with 24.kg news agency that this was the planned annual shutdown of the factory. It occurs in the cold season due to the lack of technical water.

Solton-Sary factory works only 8 months a year. Its equipment is outdated, produced in Soviet times.

The specialist notes that the pit of the mine operates in usual, normal mode. During the winter stoppage, the factory is repaired to work in the summer and autumn without stops and breaks. In 2017, it is planned to produce 61 kilograms of gold at the mine.

«When the factory starts working at full capacity, we plan to additionally launch the second line. This will make it possible to produce additional 6 kilograms of gold. We think about the prospects for the development of the mine. Therefore, geological exploration works in Altyn-Tor area are conducted in parallel. To accelerate the development of the deposit, it is necessary to increase the amount of overburden operations and attract significant financial injections," Talant Kazakov says.

Specific feature of Altyn-Tor deposit is that it is necessary to conduct a large amount of drilling work there, and also to equip the branch with modern machinery.

But this is not the main problem at Solton-Sary now. The local residents, who illegally mine gold, hinder work at the mine. The problem can not be solved for several years. And recently, about three hundred people came to the mine and wanted to seize it.

«It’s very hard for people to work in such conditions at the mine. This also applies to the nearby Buchuk field, owned by a Chinese company. Illegal mining of gold is also flourishing there. The Chinese company does not work and allows local miners to steal," Talant Kazakov shared his problems.

The expert says that local authorities are trying to somehow help, but their power is not enough. The problem should be solved at the state level.

Makmal'rebirth

The deputy head of Kyrgyzaltyn admits that the situation at Makmal is very difficult. In the last three years, work at the plant is extremely inefficient. In 2014–2016, the gold production plan was fulfilled on average by 75.5 percent.

«Yes, the plant has big problems. It is unprofitable since 2012. Problems have been accumulating for decades and now made themselves felt. But you can not just close the plant. It is always easier to destroy than to create or preserve anything. It’s time for us to think ahead, for many years to come," Talant Kazakov said.

The expert also denied the accusations that nothing was done to extend the term of Makmal’s work. He tells that a tremendous creative and organizational work has been carried out. For example, the technology of gold extraction was improved, the off-balance ores were involved in development, depth of mining was increased. But now this is not enough.

For further work of Makmal, it is necessary to provide the production with mineral raw materials. To this end, in parallel with the extraction and processing of ore, it is necessary to continue geological prospecting for additional exploration of the reserves of Vostochnaya and Dioritovaya areas of Makmal deposit. But we need a lot of money.

The same is true of Solton-Sary. Kyrgyzaltyn does not have own money to establish more profitable production at the mine. The only way out is to attract foreign investment. JSC says that there are interested in the projects.

«We are now waiting for the completion of the inventory of the assets. Then we can sit down at the negotiating table with investors. If, following the example of Tereksay mine, we will attract investors to Makmal, then the creation of a joint venture will require about $ 30 million," Talant Kazakov shared his plans.

The deputies do not in a hurry to believe the stories of Kyrgyzaltyn’s management, everyone is looking for a dirty trick. And the company notes that all efforts to restart the deposits are made not only because of the desire to squeeze out of them as much profit as possible. It’s all about social responsibility. The same Makmal financially maintains Toguz-Toroo district for 30 years. Taxes come to the local budget, residents are paid wages, all the necessary social contributions are made. If everything closes suddenly, a social explosion can occur.

«The most important thing for us now is to be allowed working quietly. As soon as the prospects begin to emerge around the plant, interested persons immediately appear on the horizon and begin to weave intrigues, spread rumors in their own interests, and carry out personnel reshuffling. It should not be done. If you do not help, then do not interfere with our work," Talant Kazakov concluded.

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