Bystrinsky Mining and Processing Plant dispatched its first shipment, delivering 1.5 kt of copper concentrate to its counterparties in China. By the end of April, another 3 kt are expected to be shipped.
“We believe that the first shipment of copper concentrate is a major milestone for the entire Bystrinsky project and a testament to our success in achieving the plant’s targets,” says Sergey Dyachenko, Nornickel’s First Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “In the next few months, Bystrinsky GOK is also planning to dispatch its first shipment of iron ore concentrate.”
Nornickel constructed Bystrinsky GOK in a hard-to-reach area of the Trans-Baikal Territory in late 2017, with the plant currently running in the pre-commissioning mode. It is expected to be commissioned on a phased basis during this year. Bystrinsky GOK will reach its design capacity as early as 2019 to produce c. 3 mt of magnetite concentrate and 260 kt of copper concentrate annually. At a later stage, the plant also intends to produce (gravity) gold concentrate to be further processed using the Company’s own facilities.
“We have a positive outlook for the copper and iron ore concentrate markets. Going forward, we are committed to building a solid foundation that will support our production growth,” says Sergey Batekhin, Senior Vice President and Head of Sales, Commerce and Logistics at Nornickel. “China is currently our priority market for Bystrinsky GOK’s sales, but we plan to tap other Asian markets as well. Nornickel also considers delivering magnetite and copper concentrates to customers in Russia.”
Bystrinsky GOK is located in the Trans-Baikal Territory ca. 90 km away from the Russian-Chinese border. The facility is developing the Bystrinskoye Field, a polymetallic deposit in the Gazimuro-Zavodsky District. Balance reserves stand at 343 mt of ore. Nornickel owns 50% plus one share in the project while CIS Natural Resources Fund, an investment fund, and China’s Highland Fund hold 36.7% and 13.3%, respectively.