Newly branded Udokan Copper says 125,000 t/y output plant is now 40% complete

Baikal Mining Company, the operator of the Udokan copper project in Russia’s Zabaikalye Region, has announced the adoption of a new name – Udokan Copper. Rebranding will be gradually introduced across all of the company’s business domains.

“Our new name – Udokan Copper – reflects the current stage of the company development,” says Valery Kazikayev, Board Chairman. “We are in transition from research and engineering to creation of an industrial company, we are preparing to commission the deposit. It is a completely new chapter: we are turning into a manufacturing company and its brand name must embrace the name of the largest copper deposit in Russia – Udokan.”

“Baikal Mining Company performed unprecedented research, developed and patented a unique ore processing technology, and raised financing by major banks,” notes Valery Kazikayev. “In a very short time we have designed a mining and metallurgical plant and today Udokan Copper is fast-tracking its construction in the most severe natural conditions, despite the epidemic situation in the country.”

At the moment the construction of the Udokan plant is complete by 40%. The shell and floors, building envelope and utilities are installed at the most of the mill site buildings. The 50 MW Udokan power substation and two power lines have been launched, while construction of another 146 MW power substation is underway. Installation of processing and production equipment is in progress at the Udokan plant site. The construction works are to be completed by the middle of 2022. Six months ahead of schedule the company launched the capital mining operations. Commercial development is to start in early 2022.

Udokan Copper (previously Baikal Mining Company) was established to develop the Udokan copper deposit. The company is part of the USM holding founded by Alisher Usmanov. The Udokan deposit has reserves of over 26 Mt of copper and is the largest untapped copper deposit in Russia and the third largest in the world. The reserves of the deposit according to the JORC classification are estimated at 26.7 Mt of copper, with concentration of copper in ore amounting to 1.0%. The deposit is located in the Kalarsky district of the Transbaikal region, 30 km off the New Chara station of the Baikal-Amur mainline. Upon the project completion a mining and metallurgical plant will be commissioned to produce cathode copper and sulphide concentrate; the production output is projected at 125,000 t/y.

The plant, when reaching its full capacity, is to provide more than 2,500 jobs and additional 20,000 jobs in related industries. The Udokan plant is to contribute up to 10% to the gross regional product of the Transbaikal region.