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Development of the Vershinnoye Uranium Deposit Commenced in the Bauntovsky-Evenki District, Republic of Buryatia
The work was launched by Aleksey Tsydenov, acting Head of Buryatia, and Vladimir Verkhovtsev, Director General of JSC Atomredmetzoloto. The Agreement on Strategic Development of JSC Khiagda and Development of Economic Potential of the Bauntovsky-Evenki District was signed as well.
The Vershinnoye uranium deposit is one of the Khiagdinskoye ore field eight deposits developed by JSC Khiagda (a part of ARMZ Uranium Holding Co. control loop). Its balance reserves total 4,577 tonnes of uranium. According to Andrey Gladyshev, Production Director of JSC Khiagda, more than 1.2 thousand technological wells will be built at Vershinnoye according to the plans with 165 thereof already drilled. Primary processing of productive solutions will be carried out at a local sorption plant (LSP). Aleksey Tsydenov and Vladimir Verkhovtsev inaugurated a memorable stone in honour of the deposit development launch.
Andrey Gladyshev clarified as follows: “LSP is designed to extract uranium from productive solutions to a special ion-exchange resin. Then, the uranium-saturated resin is transported for further processing to the main production building. Thus, there is no need to build multi-kilometer pipelines, which affects the production cost positively”.
The first metal will be produced at Vershinnoye in 2018. Up to now, JSC Khiagda has been developing the Khiagdinskoye deposit with the reserves amounting to 10,849 tonnes of uranium and has also started preparations for extraction at the Istochnoye deposit with the reserves amounting to 2,055 tonnes. In future, the development of the Tetrakhskoye, Dybrynskoye, Namaruskoye, Koretkondinskoye and Kolichikanskoye deposits will begin. The total reserves of the Khiagdinskoye ore field group of deposits amount to ca. 45 thousand tonnes of uranium. In total, according to the results of exploration work carried out by FSUE Urangeo, the resources of the Vitimskoye uranium ore district are estimated at 350,000 tonnes, including about 250,000 tonnes suitable for downhole in-situ leaching, which will ensure stable operation of the enterprise for many decades.
Vladimir Verkhovtsev: “JSC Khiagda is the most modern and promising enterprise of the mining division of Rosatom State Corporation. Today, the investments have amounted to about RUR 23 billion and we will start investing in development about RUR 2 billion annually starting in 2017”. By 2019, the enterprise will produce 1,000 tonnes of uranium per year, according to the plans of ARMZ Uranium Holding Co. We shall recall that 540 tonnes of uranium were produced in 2016; this year, it is planned to produce 693 tonnes.
Aleksey Tsydenov learned about the entire uranium chain: from drilling wells on the field being prepared for acidification to processing of productive solutions and output of finished products, uranium compound slurry (yellow cake). He also visited a base camp and a new workshop for producing sulfuric acid equipped in accordance with European technology and safe for the environment and locals.
Aleksey Tsydenov noted that “Constant growth in production volumes to ensure nuclear and energy independence of our country makes us proud. The enterprise designed to work for more than 150 years is the foundation of the economy of the republic indeed. The main thing is that the unconditional observance of the principle of environmental safety is visible quite clearly. The authorities of Buryatia will do everything possible to provide assistance in the development of JSC Khiagda”.
The first step in this direction was the signing of the Agreement on Strategic Development of JSC Khiagda and Development of Economic Potential of the Bauntovsky-Evenki District. Aleksey Tsydenov and Vladimir Verkhovtsev signed the document in the main control room of the workshop for producing sulfuric acid.
As Aleksey Tsydenov said, the document provides for a whole range of joint activities. First of all, it is aimed at increasing the output of JSC Khiagda. Several strategic directions are provided: the possibility of building a railway, improving motor transport communication, providing high-speed Internet, as well as other projects creating opportunities for developing both the production of JSC Khiagda and that of the nearest production facilities and settlements, will be considered.
In particular, the authorities of Buryatia will assist in solving the issue of sustainable power supply to the enterprise by constructing the 110/10 kV Djilinda substation, improve the road quality in the area “border of the Trans-Baikal Territory and Buryatia – Romanovka – Bagdarin” and go on providing state support to JSC Khiagda within the framework of the investment agreement concluded on April 21, 2016. Moreover, the government of Buryatia is intensifying joint activities with PJSC Russian Railways, the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Russian Federation in order to implement the Transburyatskaya Railway project aimed at improving transport infrastructure for developing the production potential and meeting the transport needs of the dwellers of the North-Eastern Buryatia and the production needs of JSC Khiagda.
Andrey Gladyshev, Production Director of JSC Khiagda, and Nikolai Kovalev, Head of the Bauntovsky-Evenki District, signed a Social and Economic Agreement on Cooperation. In order to ensure sustainable social and economic development of the region, the enterprise will allocate RUR 5 million. This amount is half a million rubles higher than the one in 2016 as per the similar Agreement. The funds will be used to implement such socially significant projects as overhaul of the Vitimsky Recreation Centre, purchase of furniture for the Vitimok kindergarten, purchase of a water-carrying vehicle for the population in Maly-Amalat village, purchase of an all-terrain vehicle to ensure food delivery for Ust-Djilindinsky rural settlement and others.
Nikolai Kovalev emphasized: “The first such agreement was signed last year. JSC Khiagda fulfilled all its obligations, as a result of which we could improve the quality of life of the population significantly. Now, we will continue this important work jointly”.