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Tajik gold miners look to buy sodium cyanide from new Kazakh plant

October 23 2012, 16:42

Kazakhstan's national export and investment promotion agency said Monday a Kazakh firm has signed several agreements to sell sodium cyanide to two of Tajikistan’s largest gold miners.

The Kazakh chemicals firm United Chemical Company will build a production plant in Tajikistan to supply local miners Zeravshan Gold Company (ZGC) and Aprelevka with the chemicals they need to extract precious metals from rock, Kaznex Invest said on Monday.

Astana-headquartered United Chemical Company expects its planned factory at Kazakhstan’s Khimpark Taraz Free Economic Zone, to become operational in late 2014.

The plant will have an annual capacity of 25,000 tons of sodium cyanide.

Miners use sodium cyanide to oxidize and dissolve gold and silver from rock by combining it with solutions of air and water.

The memorandums of understanding were inked recently during the visit to Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, by a Kazakh delegation led by Kaznex Invest.

Tajikistan produced some 2.9 tons of gold and 1.2 tons of silver last year.

Although the mountainous country has more than 30 gold deposits, most of its gold is extracted from the Jilau deposit owned by Chinese-Tajik joint venture ZGC.

Gold mining company Aprelevka is a Canadian-Tajik operation.

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