Udokan copper deposit with resources of more than 26 mn tons of copper is the largest in Russia and one of the largest copper deposits in the world.
The deposit is located in Kalar District of Zabaikalsky Region, 30 km away from Chara railway station of Baikal-Amur Mainline. The deposit`s development is complicated by lack of transport and power infrastructure and harsh climatic conditions. Udokan deposit is characterized by deep and omnipresent interpenetrations of sulphide and oxide forms of copper-bearing minerals and complex mining conditions.
A considerable scope of work related to resource base confirmation and update and ore processing flowsheets identification has been performed since obtaining the license.
Within the scope of the license conditions various activities on geological, economic and technological survey of the deposit were completed. Continuous process test work of a representative ore sample was performed and cathode copper was obtained at the LLC BMC modernized pilot plant in Novaya Chara.
In February 2014 leading international engineering companies in M&M design - Fluor, SRK Consulting and Knight Piesold - completed preparation of the International Feasibility Study for Udokan copper deposit development project.
Currently the Process Procedures and TEO-Konditsy are being prepared. These works are performed by major Russian institutes: TOMS-Engineering, Gipronickel, Institute of Mineralogy (Urals Branch of RAS), National University of Science and Technology, Irkutsk State Technical University. Engineering design for the deposit development will be prepared based on the approved reserves and updated conditions.
Geotechnical studies are under way at the deposit in order to select the optimal location for the facilities of the future metals and mining complex. Concurrently major design solutions and project costs are being optimized.
LLC BMC is working in close cooperation with federal and regional public authorities and natural monopolies on identification of financing sources for external infrastructure facilities and synchronization of the timelines of construction of power and transport infrastructure facilities with the pace of putting the mine on stream.
Udokan deposit development will give incentive to expansion of M&M industry, road and railway infrastructure, power industry, civil engineering and other sectors of economy of the Far East and Siberia. This project is unique from the viewpoint of potential budgetary and socioeconomic impacts consisting in creation of 4 thousand jobs at the enterprise itself and up to 20 thousand jobs with due account of related industries (4% of the economically active population of Zabaikalsky Region)and considerable growth of budget revenues at every stage of project development.