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A visiting session of the People's Khural Committee held at the central production site of Khiagda
The main issue discussed at the meeting was the possibility to provide state support to the enterprise in the form of tax benefits related to investment activities. One of the underlying reasons is the Khiagda’s victory in the investment project competition held by the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Buryatia.
"The project of the largest and most advanced uranium mining enterprise of Russia, implemented by Rosatom in the Republic of Buryatia is a pride for all of us. All the benefits provided to the enterprise will repay with interest back to our budget after the active investment phase, when uranium production will increase to a thousand or more tons per year. But right now most of the funds need to be invested in further development of the deposits of the nature’s richest area - Vitimsky uranium ore district", - said Yuri Safyanov, Minister of Natural Resources of Buryatia. He also noted that the enterprise rigorously meets all environmental standards and continuously reduces its environmental footprint. The Minister suggested the deputies to support the initiative to provide tax benefits to the enterprise.
The head of Bauntovsky District municipality Nikolai Kovalyov emphasized that Rosatom has been always involved in addressing social infrastructure development issues in the regions where it operates. Back in December 2012, a cooperation agreement was signed between the Government of the Republic of Buryatia and Rosatom. According to the agreement, Khiagda became a part of Rosatom’s Consolidated Group of Taxpayers, which increased payments to the republican budget. Most of these funds are aimed at addressing infrastructure issues of Bauntovsky District, with the most significant project being the construction of the bridge across Vitim river at Romanovka village.
The keynote report was delivered by Alexei Dementiev, General Director of Khiagda. In particular, he spoke about implementation of the major mining project in the harsh climatic conditions of the Far North: "As of today, 20 billion rubles have been invested in the creation of the most advanced uranium mining enterprise of the country. Facilities of the central production site are almost complete: the main production building, chemical and finished product storages, transformer substation, compressor station, fire station and other buildings have been launched into commercial operation. Construction of on-site sulfuric acid plant has been finished. This is a complex, interesting and promising project which enabled to generate innovation mechanisms and introduce new technologies, followed by large-scale economic effect. Construction of this facility has become the core of our investment program. Only producing our own acid at the industrial site we can ensure a steady increase in acidification volumes, progressively tapping into resources of Istochnoye, Vershinnoye and later the other deposits. Moreover, thanks to commissioning of the sulfuric acid plant, we will reduce three times the specific volume of transport operations required to produce one ton of uranium. The environmental aspect is equally important. Absence of the need to transport sulfuric acid from the railroad base to the central production site completely eliminates the main environmental risk factor in our activities. A significant contribution to reducing the environmental impact will be abandoning the use of coal. Soon we will be ready to completely disable the coal-fired boiler house and supply all infrastructure with the heat produced at sulfuric acid plant."
So far, the company has been developing at Khiagdinskoe ore field only Khiagdinskoe deposit with the reserves of 10,849 tons of uranium. Completion of facilities of the central production site allows to continue the scheduled development of Khiagda and expand its resource base. In the medium term, phased commissioning of Istochnoye, Vershinnoye, Tetrakhskoye, Dybrynskoye, Namaruskoye, Koretkondinskoye and Kolichikanskoye deposits is planned.
Alexei Dementiev said that I-1 layer of Istochnoye deposit (2055 tons of uranium reserves) is currently being prepared for development. In 2016, infrastructure will be prepared and 140 process wells will be drilled. The first metal on Istochnoye deposit will be produced in late 2016. On Vershinnoye deposit, which has protected uranium reserves of 4577 tons, this year Khiagda is going to penetrate the reserves of B-1 layer. 162 process wells are to be drilled at the deposit. The first metal on Vershinnoye is to be produced in 2017.
Hural deputies and the Minister of Natural Resources of Buryatia visited main facilities of the enterprise and the deposits. Anatoly Kushnarev, Chairman of the Committee on Economic Policy, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the People's Khural of the Republic of Buryatia, in particular, said: "Operation of a modern high-tech enterprise developing the richest reserves of our subsoil is the basis for a prosperous future of the Republic and the country as a whole. Every effort should be made to make the work of Rosatom in Buryatia the most comfortable."
The outcome of the visiting session was the unanimous support of the investment agreement granting tax benefits between the Government of the Republic of Buryatia and Khiagda. In addition, the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Buryatia was recommended to examine the possibility to organize specialized training of experts at educational organizations in the Republic for subsequent work at the company. The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Ministry of Economic Development of the Republic of Buryatia were recommended to promote social and economic development of Bauntovsky District at the expense of Rosatom’s Consolidated Group of Taxpayers.