Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) — IFG Metals & Mining, a division of IFG Capital Partners SA, and the State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Geology and Mineral Resources (Goscomgeology) signed an agreement on exclusive rights to carry out feasibility studies and exploit seven tungsten deposits in Uzbekistan.
The company said in a statement that the project envisages creation of a cluster for tungsten production and processing. The company said that the investments for US$300 million will be directed over 25-30 years.
IFG has developed the tungsten cluster and is the leading principal investor in the project. SUN Group, which is active in India, Russia, West Africa and other emerging markets, has agreed to co-invest with IFG in the exploration and development of the tungsten cluster, subject to further due diligence.
IFG intends to conduct a feasibility analysis into the exploration and development of the Ingichke, Gussay, Sarykul, Kara-Tyube, Lyangar and Koytash tungsten deposits, with the purpose of processing ore into concentrate. Should the studies produce positive results, IFG has the exclusive rights to manage the industrial development of the deposits.
Together, the seven deposits will produce up to 5,700 tonnes of tungsten per year, or roughly 6 percent of the world’s total output by 2024, Olga Ponkratova, Managing Partner of IFG and head of IFG Metals and Mining, told to Reuters.
The agreement follows the announcement in July that IFG will conduct a feasibility study on the development of the Yakhton tungsten deposit in the Samarkand region of Uzbekistan. This deposit will become part of the cluster.
Preliminary geological research indicates around 130,000 tonnes of WO3 (tungsten oxide) in the seven deposits with the average grade higher than in comparable projects as well as lower processing costs due to favourable business conditions in Uzbekistan.
IFG plans to build two mobile processing factories that will serve the deposits, and to export 100% of produced tungsten to North America and the EU.
IFG is drilling verification bores at each deposit to verify existing reserves and confirm historical exploration data in accordance with international JORC standards.
The first samples from the Yakhton deposit have already been sent abroad for metallurgical testing according to best international practice. The first results are expected in Q4 2018.