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New Trans-Baikal Uranium Mine: First Tranche
“2023 the new mine is scheduled to receive the first ton of uranium ore. There cannot be any other schedules,” - with these words the First Deputy Director General – Executive Director of the ARMZ Uranium Holding Co. Viktor Svyatetsky started his speech at the session of the Legislative Assembly of the Trans-Baikal Territory.
The implementation of the Development of the Argunskoye and Zherlovoe deposits (construction of mine No. 6) investment project will ensure a consistent supply of strategic raw materials for the nuclear industry, the development of the second largest city of the Trans-Baikal Territory, Krasnokamensk, as well as preservation of jobs in the largest uranium mining enterprise in the country. The mineable reserves of the Argunskoye and Zherlovoe deposits of the Streltsovskie ore fields constitute about 38 thousand tons of uranium (35% of the total "PIMCU”, PJSC reserves). The average ore grade of the strategic metal is higher than at the existing mines, which can guarantee competitive production cost.
All branches of government have supported the major project of the ROSATOM's Mining Division and the Trans-Baikal Territory. In summer 2017 the Legislative Assembly of the Trans-Baikal Territory formally addressed Dmitry Medvedev, the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, with the proposal to provide federal funding for the construction of mine No. 6. Later the development of the Argunskoye and Zherlovoe deposits was one of the subjects of the meeting of the President of Russia Vladimir Putin and Governor of the Trans-Baikal Territory Natalya Zhdanova. As a result, the President has backed up the proposal to finance the construction of mine No. 6 from the federal budget and gave appropriate instructions to the Government of the Russian Federation, ministries and departments.
At the request of the Legislative Assembly of the Territory Victor Svyatetsky spoke at the session about further implementation of the project. In his presentation he communicated clear numbers and time schedule of the construction. “The project will be implemented in three phases. The first phase will involve the construction of infrastructure facilities and must be completed in the period from 2017 to 2019. Then we will proceed to the construction of surface mine facilities, capital mining operations and technical re-equipment of the Hydrometallurgical plant. In 2023 the first line of the mine will be put into operation and the first ton of uranium ore will be produced. During the third stage, in 2024-2026, the capital mining operation complex will be completed and by 2026 the mine will reach its designed capacity of 850 thousand tons of ore annually,” - said the First Deputy Director General of the ARMZ Uranium Holding Co.
Victor Svyatetsky also elaborated on the financing schedule of the project. Based on the decision of the Investment Committee of the ROSATOM State Corporation the first 350 million rubles have already been allocated. These funds will be spent on the construction of the main step-down substation. Also approved was the arranging of competitive procedures to select contractors for the construction of infrastructure facilities (autoroad, mine water treatment plants, and construction and assembling operations) valued at RUB 2.9 billion, as well as for the procurement of process equipment (elevator machinery, major HVAC unit) valued at RUB 2.17 billion.
In addition, the project was included in the Russian Federal State Program Socio-economic development of the Far East and the Baikal region (Support for the implementation of investment projects in the Far East and the Baikal region subprogram). Within the framework of the state support of the construction of external infrastructure in the form of subsidies the funds amounting to RUB 2.461 billion are planned to be allocated from the budget: RUB 515.55 million in 2018, RUB 1835.8 million in 2019, and RUB 109.24 million in 2020.
“The competitive procedures to select a contractor for the construction of the first facility – the main step-down substation - will be completed by the end of 2017. The commencement of the construction is planned for Q1 2018. The competitive procedures to select contractors and suppliers for the construction of the remaining infrastructure facilities will be completed in the Q2 2018,” - said Victor Svyatetsky. From the rostrum of the Legislative Assembly he invited contractors to participate in the construction tenders.
On behalf of all residents of Krasnokamensk the Member of the Legislative Assembly of the Trans-Baikal Territory and the Secretary of the Krasnokamensk branch of United Russia Ivan Kiselev thanked those who successfully lobbied for the commencement of the project implementation: “We all were awaiting a favorable decision and the beginning of mine No. 6 construction. It is no secret that the mineable reserves of the existing "PIMCU” mines are nearing exertion. Construction of mine No. 6 with the mineable reserves of about 38 thousand tons of uranium will contribute to further development of "PIMCU” and the prosperity of the town. Undoubtedly, this project is of paramount importance not only for the ore mining division, but for ROSATOM as a whole. The State Corporation will ensure the supply of strategic raw materials for many decades ahead.”