Construction of a mining and processing complex at the Boguta tungsten ore deposit
Status: construction and installation work is underway (as of October 2022)
Name: Construction of a mining and processing complex at Boguta tungsten ore deposit(*)
Location: Boguta tungsten ore deposit is located in Yenbekshikazakh district of Almaty region, 180 km from Almaty city in Ulken-Boguty mountains (43°32’22.0″N 78°58’31.0″E)
Project type: mining and metallurgical complex(*)
Owner: Zhetisu Tungsten LLP, Jiaxin International Resources Investment Limited(*)
Main Contractor(s): China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation(*)
Sources of financing: China Commerce Bank (RBM1500 mln)(*)
Project Cost: $260 mln(*)
Project Cost: construction and installation work is underway (as of October 2022)
The realization of the Boguta tungsten deposit development project includes the construction of a mining complex to extract ore and a mining and processing plant to process it and produce high quality tungsten concentrate(*) . The project has a processing capacity of 3 million 300 thousand tons of ore per year. Project realization period – 2021-2023(*) (*) .
Production and consumption waste
Source: Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Impact Statement for the project “Construction of Concentrator with surface mining facilities with a capacity of 3.3 million tons of ore per year at Boguta tungsten ore deposit in Almaty region”, 2020.
The management of “Jiaxin International Resources Investment Co. Ltd. assures that the project has been prepared with minimal environmental impact and optimal utilization of natural resources. The use of poisonous reagents is excluded. The project provides for full safety of mining and drilling and blasting operations, which will guarantee reliable protection of the employees of the mining and processing plant(*).
However, familiarization with the EIA materials and the conclusion of the State Environmental Expertise on the project leaves a number of questions.
The vegetation of the Boguta deposit area is diverse and is represented by seven types – steppe, desert, shrub, forest, riparian, meadow and marsh. There are more than 70 formations and numerous plant communities. The fauna of the area is characterized by species diversity. There are 36 species of mammals, more than 100 species of birds nesting, about 20 species of reptiles. The Charyn National Park is located 2 km away from the contract area. How can it be stated that there will be no impact on flora and fauna?
The source of water supply for the facility during construction and operation will be water from the Charyn River flowing through the Charyn National Park. One of the most famous objects of the park is the unique Yasenevaya Grove – a relict floodplain forest along the Charyn River, which is located approximately 25 km east of the site. Already, Yasenevaya Grove is suffering severely from inadequate flooding following the construction of the Moynak HPP upstream and regulated drainage (*). Won’t the water intake for the Boguta complex lead to increased degradation of the relict forest?
The facility is classified as hazard class I during operation. The area of Boguta field location is included in the zone of 8-9 point seismicity. From the available materials it is difficult to understand what environmental impact a potential accident (breakthrough) at the tailing dump of the Boguta complex may have. An assessment of the tailing dump is planned to be prepared under a separate project. Although the facility is located at a distance of 25 km from the nearest residential area of Kokpek village, but about 2 km from the border of the Charyn National Park. Won’t the possible accident and breakthrough of the tailings pond lead to the ingress of harmful effluents into the territory of the national park, as well as into the Charyn River and further into the Ili River?
*Photograph taken from tiptoptrek.com