Relations of investors with Kyrgyzstan are always complex, especially in the mining industry. Conflicts are a synonym for mining, especially gold one.
There is an enterprise that claims to be an example: Tereksay mine. Kyrgyzaltyn OJSC told 24.kg news agency how it works and whether there will be a gold recovery plant in Kyrgyzstan.
Who got Terek-Say
The Tereksay mine, the oldest in Kyrgyzstan, is located in Chatkal district of Jalal-Abad region. It has been working since 1950. However, it was stopped because of unprofitability and exhausting of mineral resources base. The cost of gold production there almost three times exceeded its market value.
In November 2015, Eti Bakir Terek-Say, a joint venture of Kyrgyzaltyn OJSC (25 percent) and a Turkish company Eti Bakir (75 percent), won the competition for the development of Terek, Terekkan and Perevalnoye deposits. The winner paid $ 20 million for a license to develop the deposits.
Gold reserves at Terekkan deposit amount to about 5,062 tons, at Perevalnoye — 7,502, Terek — 14,644 tons.
Hopes for launching production at the fields are high. There are two reasons. First, Kyrgyzaltyn needs fresh forces and new deposits. Secondly, exactly the launch of the gold recovery plant to process gold concentrate can solve the problem with the export of ore from Kyrgyzstan. Now it is processed in Kazakhstan or China. There is no gold recovery factory that can process persistent ores, containing arsenic and copper, in the republic.
Within the project on development of Terek, Terekkan and Perevalnoye deposits, it is planned to build a gold recovery plant that will allow processing gold concentrate in Kyrgyzstan.
Kyrgyzaltyn OJSC together with Eti Bakir decided to build the plant in the south of the country for the processing of gold concentrates, namely, refractory ores. This will involve new deposits in the process. Now they are not being developed because of the absence of such an enterprise.
The development of the feasibility study for the plant will begin in 2018, and its construction should be completed by 2020.
Revival of old factory
The proposal of the Kyrgyz-Turkish joint venture turned out to be more than profitable for the commission. The company received the license and paid for it within the period established by the law.
Kyrgyzaltyn JSC told 24.kg news agency that work at the facility is in full swing. So, in 2017, there have been drilled 25,000 running meters of wells from the surface and 77 — from underground workings, 5,260 geological samples have been taken.
The developers of the deposits did not refuse construction of the gold recovery plant. Now the issue of the capacity of the factory is being decided.
Samples were taken for technological study in Australia. Its results will be received in the near future. Based on the results of the analysis, ore processing technology and technological process will be chosen, and it will be possible to decide on the production capacity of the new factory. The same data will form the basis for project on the development of Terekkan, Perevalnoye and Terek deposits.
«The old enrichining factory Tereksay was commissioned in August 2017 after reconstruction,» said Talant Kazakov, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Kyrgyzaltyn OJSC.
The reconstructed factory produces a flotation concentrate containing gold and silver. Its production capacity is 100,000 tons of ore per year. At the same time, it is planned that this year the factory will operate at its full capacity.
In 2017, the company invested $ 6.78 million in the reconstruction of Tereksay factory, 178.9 million soms — in mining and geological prospecting work.
No plant, but taxes are paid
No one exempted Eti Bakir Terek-Say company from payment of taxes or other social deductions during preparatory works. As of today, the enterprise employs 352 people. About 96 percent of them are local residents. The average wage is 22,500 soms.
In 2017, the company has paid 37.6 million soms in taxes and duties to the budget of Kyrgyzstan, 35.7 million soms — as deductions to the Social Fund and 8.7 millions of customs duties.
In total, Eti Bakir Terek-Say has transferred 82.2 million soms to the country’s budget in 2017.
Another expenditure item is a social package. It often causes conflicts at the deposits in Kyrgyzstan. It is calm at Terek-Say.
Under the terms of the license agreement, Eti Bakir Terek-Say will annually allocate 15 million soms for the social and economic development of Terek-Say rural area till the commissioning of the new plant. After its launch, the amount will increase to 20 million.
Last year, Eti Bakir Terek-Say allocated 28.6 million soms for paving internal roads and 1 million — for the construction of new houses for victims of a fire. It was the decision of deputies of the local council.