More than 3 million tonnes of copper ore have already been mined from the western pit of the Udokan copper deposit, in Russia’s Trans-Baikal Region.
The deposit is being developed as part of mining and capital works that began in mid-2020. The ore extracted at this stage will be used to run cold and hot tests of equipment at the processing plant. Upon completion of the mining and capital works, sites, roads and other facilities will be ready so that heavy equipment can conduct open-pit mining.
According to Alexey Yashchuk, CEO of Udokan Copper, pre-production mining will increase by at least 150% this year. “This will enable us to produce a more than adequate stockpile by the start of the first phase of the mining and smelting plant, thus ensuring an uninterrupted production cycle”, he said.
As the deposit is mined, ore of satisfactory quality will be sent to the processing plant; the remaining ore will first be sorted by grade for further blending (in the required proportion) and then sent to the processing plant.
Production at Udokan is set to begin in 2023. The plant will have a processing capacity of up to 15 million tonnes of ore per year. The company will produce up to 135 thousand tonnes of copper annually in the form of copper cathodes and sulphide concentrate.