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.