Thursday, August 31 2017 16:34
Naira Badalian

Suren Karayan: Prospects for building copper smelter in Armenia is discussed with Chinese partners

Suren Karayan: Prospects for building copper smelter in Armenia is  discussed with Chinese partners

ArmInfo.Armenia is discussing  with China the possibility of building a copper smelter in Armenia  worth $ 300 million, said Minister of Economic Development and  Investments Suren Karayan on August 31 after the meeting of the  government.

According to him, discussions are underway at this stage to prepare  the feasibility study for the project.  "The work is in progress, we  are working with Chinese partners, the investment package, according  to preliminary estimates, is $ 300 million," the minister said.

In August 2017, the press service of the RA Ministry of Economic  Development and Investments reported that the Armenian commercial  attache in China, Hrant Abadjian, in the head office of the  International Private Chamber of Commerce of the PRC (CICCPS) in  Beijing, presented to local businessmen and investors the state of  the business environment in Armenia. Among other investment programs  were projects on the construction of greenhouse farms and the  development of fish farming, the construction of a copper smelter and  several programs in the mining and processing industry.

On the prospect of serious investments from China, the ministry  reported a year earlier - on September 23, acting. Minister of  Economy of Armenia Artsvik Minasyan named "MCC Overseas", "China  National Building Materials Group Corporation", "Sinoma International  Engineering" among other promising companies in terms of investments  of Armenia. "With the Chinese partners, the Armenian government is  negotiating towards the establishment of a copper smelter, cement,  glass and perlite plants, and the negotiation process is in fact in a  favorable stage, and I think that in the near future we will be able  to attract serious investments from China ", Minasyan noted then.

The plans for the construction of a copper smelter in the Syunik  region appeared in Armenia in 2005-2006.  An office was set up, which  began to work out concrete calculations. Then the total cost of the  project was estimated at $ 200-250 million. The processing capacity  of the plant was to be 60,000 tons per year.  According to experts,  the new plant would allow processing all the concentrate produced in  Armenia. The implementation of this project could revive the  machine-building and machine-tool industries of the economy. The  plant was a unique project, by technologies, processing of copper  concentrate by hydrometallurgical method, which eliminates emissions  of harmful substances into the atmosphere. With the onset of the  global financial crisis, the project was suspended and forgotten. As  the Russian press reports, the main place for melting copper  concentrate from Armenia in the 2000s was Bulgaria (where the smelter  of the German metallurgical concern is located). China's share 4-5  years ago was relatively small (within 20%), but in subsequent years  it began to grow. In 2015, shipments to Switzerland and Spain ceased  and slightly increased to Serbia (where the Bor Mining and  Metallurgical Complex, one of the largest in the region, opened in  the spring). China actively buys copper concentrate from around the  world.  As reported by the profile site ScrapRegister referring to  the customs data of China, in 2015 its imports to the republic  increased by 17.75%, amounting to 11.87 million tons.

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