Golden project is hit by radiophobia

MINEX FORUM | April 18, 2017 | Views: 215

LLP “Aurum Deutschland” intends  to build mining plant and gold beneficiation camp based on Karatas-Maibulak area by 2021. Plant capacity is 1.5 tons of ore, approximate volume of plant production is 5.1 tons  gold per year as stated CEO of the company  Johann Stoll during the press conference.

Currently the company is doing geological exploration works.

“According to the  approved plan the company is supposed to drill minimum three thousands   line meters of core holes, but  in fact we are intending to drill more”,- stated the chief geologist of the company Alexander Nistratov.

LLP” Aurum Deutschland “ is a branch of German company “Aurum Deutschland AG “owned by a group of private investors. Majority share holder is Christian Graf von Strachwitz.

In 2016 LLP “Aurum Deutschland “ signed the  contract to start geological exploration in Karatas –Maibulak area (245 square km). The contract was signed for six years:  first three years-exploration stage, another three years evaluation stage. The company  implemented a complex of geophysical works and drilled about 4 thousands line meters  of holes. We drilled  based on proved areas(to confirm holes drilled during Soviet time) and  also drilled new gold mineralization. We received better results then our precursors: more  assay and longer intervals of ore zones.

The peculiarity of the project is that three technological lines will be installed : flotation, tank leaching and heap leaching. Several technologies of  recovery are required  because ore base is complex rock consisting of several types of ore such as black shale, quartz-gold-sulphide ores and  porphyry-cooper ores.

Position of the local land owners may interfere with the development of the project.

Mining rights doesn’t mean subsoil user owns the land. Cooperation in this sphere is stipulated by Land Code. Local  authorities are responsible for its implementation. Ministry for Investments and Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan guarantees right to use (or owe) lands. As a result land owners may overuse and make the land prices extremely high according to the subsoil users.

During  the Congress VII of workers of the mining and metallurgical industry of Kazakhstan, dedicated to the discussion of the Subsoil Code, several subsoil users complained  about the relationship with the land owners and the fact that  due to negotiations with them  it  is necessary to contact local  authorities which causes  delays of the projects . “We are waiting for the introduction of a new Subsoil Code, which will clearly specify the relationship between the subsoil user and the land user,” said Mr. Stoll. It is assumed that the Code will be adopted by  the end of 2017 and will enter into force on July 1, 2018.

The position of landowners effects the attitude towards the project of the villagers. Meetings with representatives of the company in the villages at the end of last week showed that most of the local residents are concerned about the radioactivity of ore and rocks. The speech “You are going to poison us” became a refrain, despite the evidence of the company’s representatives that there is no uranium in the area where gold ore is supposed to be  mined. Public hearings are scheduled for April 28 and will be held in  Kordai.

The presentation of the company for  pre-Air Assessment of Environment states that the construction of the plant will not effect the ecological situation in  Kordai district, as the border of the plant’s sanitary protection zone will pass two kilometers away from the nearest  Nogaibai village. The plant will have a closed cycle of water supply: drinking water will be imported and stored in two tanks with a volume of 50 cubic meters.

In Kazakhstan, an attempt to prevent the implementation of the mining project at the geological exploration stage, using ecology as an argument, is a precedent. Previously, this only happened in Kyrgyzstan. Apparently, the experience of the neighboring country was indeed taken into account: “There is  a gold mining near us made by the Canadian company “Kumtor Operating.”

But for Kyrgyzstan, Kumtor does not ruin  nature (the mine is located in the glacier zone), but  is 8% of GDP and 23.4% of industrial production in 2016 (data of the National Statistics Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic). Environmental protests in Kyrgyzstan also reduce the heat: “If earlier villagers did not want to hear about mines at all now they are ready to discuss the conditions, this is a big step forward,” the source in the industry of  the Kyrgyz Republic assured.

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