The project provides for the development of the Kundybai deposit of rare earth elements. The deposit, due to the discontinuous arrangement of four ore bodies, will be mined in three separate open pits. It is planned to use an open pit mining method.
The initiator is Kundybai Mining JSC, whose main activity is geological exploration and surveys without scientific research and development. The initiator is in the process of obtaining a license for the extraction of solid minerals (REM) at the Kundybai deposit (4 open pits with a geological allotment area of 31.2 sq. km).
China showed an average annual positive growth rate of REM production of 12.5% from 2017 (105 thousand tons) to 2021 (168 thousand tons). According to the plan of the Ministry of Natural Resources of China, quotas for mining and smelting will increase by 20% and amount to 202 thousand tons and 194 thousand tons, respectively.
Between 2017 and 2021 The Chinese government has taken a number of measures to limit the export of raw materials containing REM (concentrates, carbonates and other compounds) in order to localize the production of highly processed products from REM. As a result, China increased its share in the structure of world exports of processed REM products from 50% (5.5 thousand tons) in 2017 to 64% (8.8 thousand tons) in 2021.
The level of world mine production of REM has been continuously growing from 132 thousand tons in 2017 to 280 thousand tons in 2021, demonstrating a rapid CAGR of 20.7%.
What is the attraction of the project?
Estimation of deposit reserves. Statement of reserves on the state balance was made in 2012. Kundybay is one of the richest deposits of REM in Central Asia. The deposit has 25 thousand tons of approved reserves of REM oxides in category C2. The volume of ore reserves with an average REM content of 0.051% is 49 million tons.
Developed infrastructure. The field is located 50 km south-west of the city of Zhitikara, near which passes the highway of republican significance A-23, and other infrastructure facilities.
Favorable conditions for mining. The physical and geological properties of the ore from the Kundybay deposit make it possible to avoid drilling and blasting. Soft, dense or loose rocks are removed directly from the massif using an open method.
For the implementation of the Project, financing in the amount of 1,439 thousand US dollars is required:
70% (USD 1,007 thousand) – debt financing (subject to availability of collateral);
from 30% (432 thousand US dollars) – investor participation.
The proposed financing structure and state support measures are indicative, the final financing structure and the stake in the Project will be determined based on the results of joint negotiations with the investor.