Tungsten: CIS countries emerge as focus of new projects

Countries within the Commonwealth of Independent States are forging ahead with new tungsten mine development projects as opportunities open up for new feedstock suppliers. The Sautbay project in Uzbekistan, owned by Uz-Ko Resources, a joint-venture between South Korea’s Shindong Resources (51%) and Uzbeck National Geology Committee (49%), was progressed further in April with the signing of a loan agreement and increase of capital in the joint venture. 

In addition, a Chinese-supported tungsten mine project in Kazakhstan will begin construction in Q3 2020, with the aim of production starting in 2022, according to local news reports. The project in the Boguntinky massif, Sogeti district is being supported by Zhetisu Tungsten Jiaxin International Resources Investment. The COVID-19 outbreak was reported to have delayed the start of construction, which was originally scheduled for Q2 2020.

Roskill View

Eurasian tungsten mine projects could add more than 11ktpy of new supply by 2029 if all are brought on-line successfully, the largest of any region, according to Roskill data. Besides Sautbay and Boguntinky, other project developments within the region include:

  • Kazakhstan: Tau-Ken Samruk’s Verkneye Kairakty project (supported by Xiamen Tungsten), Kemin Resources’ Drozhilovskoye and Smirnovskoe deposits, and Dala Mining’s Koktenkol deposit (supported by Japan’s Itochu Corp);
  • Russia: Wolfram JSC’s Tyrniauz, Lazurnoe and Yanizavanskaya projects;
  • Uzbekistan: seven deposits under development by Luxembourg-based IFG Capital and co-investor SUN Group, located in the Samarqand, Navoi, and Jizzax regions, could together produce around 7,140tpy of tungsten concentrate (containing around 3,670tpy W).

With declining ore grades expected to reduce the contribution from existing mine projects over the coming decade, Roskill expects that around nine new tungsten mines could be required by 2029 in order to ensure the market is sufficiently balanced.

Roskill’s NEW Tungsten: Outlook to 2029, 14th Edition report was published in April 2020 and details trends in tungsten production, consumption, trade and prices, as well as profiling the major industry players. Click here to download the brochure and sample pages for the report, or to access further information.

Contact the author

This article was written by Jessica Roberts. Please get in touch below if you wish to discuss further:

Contact the author