KAZ Minerals and Chinese investor to build new $1.5 billion copper plant in Kazakhstan

Business news correspondent
A new copper plant is expected to create about 1,000 jobs / Photo: Shutterstock, photo editor: Arthur Aleskerov

A new $1.5 billion copper factory will be built in Kazakhstan, the press service of the country’s prime minister reported.

The plant will be built by China Nonferrous Metal Industry’s Foreign Engineering and Construction Co. (supplier of designing services and equipment) and NFC Kazakhstan (construction contractor) for KAZ Minerals Smelting (customer). The three sides have signed this contract during an official ceremony attended by Prime Minister Olzhas Bektenov.

The factory is expected to be set up in the vicinity of the Aktogay settlement in the Abay region. The $1.5 billion project will be commissioned in 2028. The plant will have a capacity of 300,000 tons of copper per year and create more than 1,000 jobs.

The plant is going to process copper concentrate produced by the Bozshakol and Aktogay mining complexes and enrichment facilities of Vostoktsvetment. It is going to be one of the biggest factories producing high-value-added products. The plant is expected to supply the internal needs of the market in processing cupric products and copper cathode.

Copper cathode is widely used in energy, machinery construction and other industries. Furthermore, the new plant plans to produce gold, silver and sulfuric acid.

«The president has instructed us to seek sustainable economic growth. The construction of a new copper plant is a big industrial project that can help us boost copper production and contribute to the development of our national economy. Copper production is one of the most important sectors of our industry and its dynamic development is very important for us,» Bektenov underlined.

China Nonferrous Metal Industry’s Foreign Engineering and Construction Company Ltd (Nonferrous China) is a state-owned company whose shares are traded on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. NFC was the first Chinese company to invest in mining projects and nonferrous metal processing outside of mainland China. It has business interests in more than 20 countries. KAZ Mineral already worked with NFC as a contractor in the Bozshakol, Aktogay and Bozymchak projects.

Kazakhstani businessman Vladimir Kim controls 63.5% of KAZ Minerals. He has a fortune of $3.6 billion, which makes him the fourth richest person in Kazakhstan after Vyacheslav Kim ($6.3 billion), Timur Kulibayev ($5 billion) and Dinara Kulibayeva (5$ billion), according to Forbes Kazakhstan. In 2023, the company produced 403,000 tons of copper, a 6% increase over 2022 (380,000 tons), thanks to the second sulfide ore enrichment factory in Aktogay. 

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