1 Oct 2009 12:39

Kazakhmys, Eptic could form JV for $30-mln polymetal project

ASTANA. Oct 1 (Interfax) - Kazakhstan's Eptic civic entrepreneurial corporation (CEC) and copper producer Kazakhmys Corporation LLP are looking at forming a joint venture to develop the Anisimov Klyuch polymetallic ore field in the East Kazakhstan in a project costing an estimated $30 million.

Eptic said in a statement that its CEO Ermek Kosherbayev and Kazakhmys CEO Eduard Ogai signed a memorandum of cooperation to develop mineral resources, specifically the Anisimov Klyuch field.

They plan to establish a joint venture in the form of LLP. "Currently the companies are negotiating the clauses of the agreement that will specify the distribution of ownership in the LLP, financing mechanisms and obligations," according to the press release.

Eptic will contribute its mineral development license to the joint venture. "The profit generated by Eptic from the field will be later reinvested in social development projects," Kosherbayev said.

Kazakhmys won a tender held by Eptic for the joint development rights to the field on April 24.

The Anisimov Klyuch field has three orebodies located 100 meters or more below surface and amenable to a deep mining operation. Balance reserves as of early 2006 stood at 54,700 tonnes of copper (average copper grade 0.16%); 22,100 tonnes of lead (0.73%); and 160,300 tonnes of zinc (5.27%).

Civic-oriented entrepreneurial corporations are being set up in Kazakhstan to make the goods of export-focused manufacturers more competitive, to manage assets and involve small businesses in socially important projects. Seven CECs are operating in Kazakhstan: Sary-Arka, Zhetysu, Ontustik, Eptic, Caspian, Tobol and Batys.