Aluminum   $ 2.1505 kg        |         Cobalt   $ 33.420 kg        |         Copper   $ 8.2940 kg        |         Gallium   $ 222.80 kg        |         Gold   $ 61736.51 kg        |         Indium   $ 284.50 kg        |         Iridium   $ 144678.36 kg        |         Iron Ore   $ 0.1083 kg        |         Lead   $ 2.1718 kg        |         Lithium   $ 29.821 kg        |         Molybdenum   $ 58.750 kg        |         Neodymium   $ 82.608 kg        |         Nickel   $ 20.616 kg        |         Palladium   $ 40303.53 kg        |         Platinum   $ 30972.89 kg        |         Rhodium   $ 131818.06 kg        |         Ruthenium   $ 14950.10 kg        |         Silver   $ 778.87 kg        |         Steel Rebar   $ 0.5063 kg        |         Tellurium   $ 73.354 kg        |         Tin   $ 25.497 kg        |         Uranium   $ 128.42 kg        |         Zinc   $ 2.3825 kg        |         
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Environmental trends create potential demand for copper, which is one of the main components of all these innovations. Today, the “new economy” already consumes 1.6 million tons of this metal. Against the backdrop of energy crises and the rising cost of energy resources, analysts argue that the demand, and consequently the prices for copper, will only continue to rise. They forecast that by 2030 the world will need 40% more copper than is mined today. All this adds up to an excellent opportunity for copper mining companies. Global leaders in this industry are actively modernizing their production, introducing advanced technologies that allow working with poor ores and copper slag to meet this growing demand with supply. The domestic copper producer, the Almalyk Mining and Metallurgical Combine, also has grand plans. Today, four investment projects are successfully being implemented here. One of the key projects is the development of the “Yoshlik” deposit worth almost $5 billion. The project involves the implementation of a whole complex of measures that will enable the enterprise to produce 400,000 tons of cathode copper per year by 2030 and become one of the world’s leading producers of this metal. This will not only secure the company’s future but also provide a powerful impetus for the development of the domestic economy: new production facilities will provide jobs for tens of thousands of people, increase tax revenues to the budget, while the combine already ranks as the second-largest taxpayer in the republic. As part of the investment project, the construction of three new copper beneficiation plants, a copper smelting complex, modernization of existing facilities, and the consolidation of two deposits of the combine – “Kalmakyr” and “Yoshlik” are planned. This project is considered one of the top 10 largest global projects in the metallurgy sector. Intensive open-pit mining operations are currently underway at the “Yoshlik” deposit. To reach the ore layer and prepare the quarry for further mining, around 180 million cubic meters of rock mass have been removed from here. To carry out massive mining works, new mining equipment has been acquired, and some transportation has also been outsourced. “We recently received two new locally assembled dump trucks with a payload of over 220 tons. In total, under the contract with a domestic company, the delivery of five such machines is expected, the rest will be delivered by March. We will use them for open-pit mining operations, and then for ore mining,” said Kamoliddinjon Marahimov, deputy chief engineer for mining operations. In addition, the combine is introducing a new cyclic-flow technology (CFT) for transportation. Several crushing-conveyor complexes will be built on the quarry site. In particular, two will be involved in transporting empty rock to the dumps, and two more – in shipping ore to the concentrator plants No. 3 and 4. It is worth reminding that in November of last year, the combine already launched one of the crushing and loading nodes for the third factory in test mode. Crushing units and 4-kilometer conveyors from Denmark, which have repeatedly proven their reliability and efficiency at numerous enterprises around the world, are installed here. These technologies will be used for primary crushing and transporting ore via conveyors instead of railway transport to ore warehouses. Overall, this solution will triple transportation costs and operational expenses. The third in line The investment project involves the construction of three copper beneficiation plants (CBP). Since 2021, active work has been underway to erect CBP-3. Today, this truly grandiose facility is at the stage of final construction and installation works. It is worth noting that Wood (Italy) and UZLITI Engineering (Uzbekistan) were involved in the design of CBP-3, Technip Energies (France) conducted the technical evaluation and acceptance of the basic project documentation, and Worley (UK) is supervising the construction. To ensure the timely launch of the factory, today, on the construction site of CBP-3 with a total area of 196 thousand square meters, more than 1000 pieces of equipment are involved, and a 15-thousand-strong international team of the general contractor Enter Engineering is working daily. The new facility will be equipped with the most modern equipment from leading manufacturers of mining and beneficiation equipment, such as AUMUND (Germany), Thyssenkrupp (Germany), Weir Minerals (UK), Sepro Minerals-Falcon (Canada), Metso (Finland), and others. In particular, for the first time at AGMK, the HPGR (High-Pressure Grinding Rolls) technology of semi-autogenous mills will be applied. This will reduce operating costs by 30% and achieve the minimum payback period for the introduced technology. Most of the large-sized equipment has already been installed and is ready for commissioning. The remaining part is at the stage of completing installation works. The activity of the factory will be fully automated, which will reduce the impact of the human factor on production processes, increase the quality of the products, and reduce emergency situations. The automation of the technological process will be based on modern software and hardware used in the practice of global manufacturers like ABB (Switzerland) and Siemens (Germany). The technological process at CBP-3 will be controlled from a centralized dispatch center, the construction of which is currently being completed. 1200 automation cabinets will be installed in the factory’s units. According to Alexander Kuznetsov, the head of the production facilities of the CBP-3 project, the first production lines of the factory will start operating soon. “We are making every effort to commission the facility on time. The commissioning of the facility will be carried out step by step. By the end of the year, we plan to obtain the first commercial concentrate. When reaching the full design capacity, the factory will process 60 million tons of ore annually,” he noted. It is worth noting that today the combine processes more than 40 million tons of ore annually. Thus, the capacities of the enterprise will soon increase to 100 million tons of processed rock. And this is just in a few years – it took decades to achieve the current level! And there are still the fourth and fifth copper beneficiation plants in the pipeline. Also, with the commissioning of the new facility, about 3.5 thousand new jobs will be created. Thus, this huge modern factory will become a strategically important object, having great significance for the socio-economic development of our country, for our youth, and for future generations. Copper Smelting Complex With the acquisition of additional volumes of concentrated ores, the capacities of the current copper smelting plant, which currently produces 148 thousand tons of cathode copper annually, will be insufficient. “At the first stage, we face the task of producing 300 thousand tons of copper per year. To accomplish this, a decision has been made to expand the capacities of the copper smelting plant to a metallurgical complex. Studying the experience of other countries, we decided to purchase flash smelting and flash converting furnaces for it, as well as modern sulfuric acid plant technologies from the leading company Metso. The contract will be signed shortly,” shared the chief engineer of the smelting plant, Zhasur Ergashev. This is practically fully automated equipment and the most optimal solution, both financially and environmentally. For example, the new furnace will be able to process several times more concentrate than other similar analogs allow. This provides greater production efficiency, reduces processing time, and consequently, the payback period of the equipment. And the closed gas discharge system from the copper production will reduce emissions and establish production with a capacity of 1.8 million tons of sulfuric acid per year. A slag beneficiation plant will also be built at the copper smelting complex, which will process by-products at a capacity of over 1.5 million tons per year. The project includes the construction of a department for slow cooling of slags, which will allow for maximum waste-free production. “Previously, the slags were taken to dumps, where they cooled naturally. Now, after undergoing the slow cooling process, they will be sent to the slag beneficiation plant for further processing. This way, we can increase copper recovery from 93% to 98%. Thus, less valuable material will go to waste. This is a fairly good indicator,” explained the director of the future complex department, Alisher Shanasirov. Currently, the basic engineering of the project is being completed, preliminary site preparation for construction is underway, and infrastructure relocation is ongoing. It is expected that specific actions will begin by the end of this year. It should be noted that to transport the finished concentrate, cyclic-flow technology will also be used. A tubular conveyor, 4.7 kilometers long, will be stretched from CBP-3 to the copper smelting complex. Its construction is scheduled to start in the summer and be completed by the beginning of 2027. Technical services and infrastructure In addition, work is actively underway on the construction and development of infrastructure. For example, at the CBP-3 base, technical water supply complexes are being built for the factory’s own needs, with a capacity of 23.5 thousand cubic meters per hour. The growing production will also require more electricity. Therefore, to meet the needs of the new facilities in electricity, AGMK has built a new technological substation with a capacity of 650 megawatts and is completing the construction of two transformer substations. They will provide electricity to the “Yoshlik” deposit, CBP-3, and the cyclic-flow technology. It is worth noting that this will be the first substation in the CIS with full digital control. The construction of an explosive materials plant is nearing completion. It will produce 90 thousand tons of explosives per year. Also, a new laboratory will be built for the needs of the quarry, which will be engaged in sample analysis. The expanding production complex will require more technical service capabilities. Therefore, expanding and modernizing the Central Repair and Mechanical Plant (CRMP) is one of the key tasks within this investment project. The CRMP is being supplemented with new equipment, production of new products is being established to ensure that there are no problems with servicing and supplying spare parts for new units at new facilities. In parallel, construction of assembly areas is underway, where maintenance and technical servicing of large-scale automotive equipment will take place. Thus, if today AGMK produces 148 thousand tons of copper, by 2025 the above measures will allow the production of 300 thousand tons of metal annually. By increasing production, by 2030 the enterprise plans to extract 400 thousand tons of copper from the deposit. In addition, the combine is not only focused on increasing the volume of copper production but also actively works to increase the volume of production of high value-added products and export not just raw materials but finished products. This will increase the company’s revenue to 8 billion dollars. International recognition In implementing such a large investment project, AGMK, in particular, relies on the experience of leading international companies. The project is financed from the funds of the combine itself, as well as loans from domestic and foreign banks. German and French financial institutions show great interest in it. “If before we independently sought financing for our projects, now banks, both local and foreign, are themselves at our doors, offering more convenient lending terms,” noted the director of the project office for the implementation of the “Yoshlik” investment project, Zokirkhuja Ishankhojaev. This interest can be explained by the fact that the combine has great development prospects. The large British company SRK Consulting confirmed the presence of 45 million tons of copper reserves and more than 5 thousand tons of gold at the “Yoshlik” deposit. According to the director of the consulting company, Mike Beer, today no state in the world can boast of such reserves. “Data on the reserves of the Almalyk deposit were published according to the JORC code, which is recognized at the international level. This is truly the future of our enterprise,” concluded the AGMK representative.