VEB, Metalloinvest unit ink memo for Udokan proj development

IRKUTSK, Sep 12 (PRIME) — Baikal Mining Company, which is a subsidiary of Russian metals holding Metalloinvest, has signed a memorandum of understanding with state-owned Vnesheconombank (VEB) and its subsidiary VEB Engineering to participate in the development of the Udokan copper project in the Zabaikalsky Region, RIA Novosti reported.

The banks representative said that VEB might provide subordinated loans in the future to Baikal Mining Company to complete the project.

Andrei Varichev, CEO of Baikal Mining Company, said that a feasibility study for the project would be completed in 18 months.

Baikal Mining Company, which is the operator of the Udokan project, may also attract Russian, as well as foreign investors, for the projects development, Varichev said adding that the company had already agreed with metals giant Norilsk Nickel and other Russian companies on the application of their technological achievements.

According to estimates, the projects development requires about U.S. $6 billion$8 billion, including the construction of infrastructure.

The Udokan deposit is one of the worlds largest undeveloped copper deposits, with 1.375 billion tonnes of mineable ore and an estimated 19.95 million tonnes of copper and 11,900 tonnes of silver.


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