Ural Mining and Metallurgical Co plans to start construction of a copper-nickel mine in the Voronezh region of Russia in 2018, after winning rights to the resource from the Russian State Committee on Mineral Resources.
Ural’s Mednogorsky Copper-Sulphuric Plant (MCSP) will be permitted to mine and process nickel ore at the Elkinsky deposit in the Novokhopersky district of Voronezh as soon as it completes a geological evaluation.
“We are planning to commence exploration and evaluation at the beginning of 2013. Geological exploration will be finished by 2016-2017. If the reserves are confirmed, it will be possible to start construction of an underground mine (presumably with four shafts) and a concentrator in 2018,” the company said in a statement.
Reserves at the deposit are forecast to last up to 45 years.
The deposit could produce 300,000 tonnes of concentrate and 3.5 million tonnes of ore as early as 2027, the company said.
The company will initially invest 13-15 million roubles per year in the project.
Director of mineral mining and processing at Ural Mining, Grigoriy Rudoy, also highlighted why he believes the company won rights to the resource. “We have comprehensive experience in processing unconventional minerals and polymetallic ores of this type,” he noted.
The company’s key competitive edge is its commitment to protecting the environment, he said, adding that it would be spending about 3.6 billion roubles on environmental issues.