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China to Build $1.5 Billion Copper Smelter in Kazakhstan

The Republic of Kazakhstan government has agreed with China Nonferrous Metal Mining (NFC) to build a smelter projected to have an annual copper production capacity of 300,000 tonnes.

The agreement was signed between KAZ Minerals Smelting and NFC as the supplier of design services and procurement of process equipment, and NFC Kazakhstan.

NFC Kazakhstan will be the construction and commissioning contractor.

The plant will be built near the village of Aktogay in the Abay region. The source of raw materials will be copper concentrate from the Bozshakol and Aktogay mining and processing plants of Vostoktsvetmet LLP.

“The construction of the plant will create a cluster combining one of the world’s largest copper mines and a modern copper smelting facility. The project will create over 1,000 new jobs. It is scheduled to be commissioned by the end of 2028,” the Kazakhstan government said in a statement.

“The high-tech enterprise will be the largest in the country for the production of high-value-added products,” the statement reads.

The deal marks another step in China’s move to scale up investment in infrastructure projects in Central Asia.

In 2023, China’s funding commitment for its Belt and Road Initiative reached $107 billion, with 15% pledged to Kazakhstan. The country is targeting $40 billion in annual two-way trade with China by 2030, up from over $31 billion in 2022.

Source: Mining