23 Nov 2009 11:13

Rostekhnologii, Metalloinvest in talks with VEB on loan for Udokan

ST. PETERSBURG. Nov 23 (Interfax) - Alisher Usmanov's Metalloinvest Holding and the Rostekhnologii state corporation are in talks with Vnesheconombank (VEB) on a loan to finance the start to development of the big Udokan copper deposit, Rostekhnologii chief Sergei Chemezov told Interfax on Saturday.

The loan would not exceed 10 billion rubles. "I don't think we would need 10 billion rubles right away," he said.

Rostekhnologii is counting on receiving the loan by the spring of 2010. "It would be best if the talks wrapped up by spring and development of the field began on schedule," he said.

Metalloinvest's OJSC Mikhailovsky GOK was declared the winner of the tender on rights to the Udokan copper field in September 2008. The company will develop the field in alliance with Rostekhnologii.

MGOK planned to launch construction of an enrichment plant at the field in 2010. However, Usmanov has said the start will have to be postponed owing to the financial crisis.

The company planned to complete facilities with capacity to produce 12 million tonnes of concentrate a year (150,000 tonnes of cathode copper). Design capacity of 36 million tonnes of concentrate (474,000 tonnes cathode copper) is scheduled for 2016. Total investment is to exceed 100 billion rubles.