Stans Energy Corp. plans to continue implementation of a massive project for the production of rare earth metals in Kyrgyzstan at the Kutessay II field, one of the largest rare earth metals’ fields in the world and the former Soviet space.
The Canadian company acquired a 20-year license for the development of the Kutessay-2 field in 2009, at the price $860.000. Two years later the company completed the purchase of the local Kashkinsky plant of rare earth elements, which specialized in the processing of rare earth elements from the Kutessay-2 field during the Soviet times.
In the case of Kutessay-2 field, which is located in the Keminsky district of the Chui region, during the Soviet times the field provided up to 80% of the country’s needs in the rare earth elements. The Kutessay-2 contains up to 15 rare-earth elements, as well as lead, zinc, silver, bismuth, molybdenum, thorium, tin, and copper. In addition, it contains niobium, tantalum and hafnium.
According to Stans Energy, Kutessay II is among a few unique rare earth metals in the world. In contrast to other fields, its ore contains thorium instead of uranium, which can be easily cleaned at the factory. To date, proven reserves of rare earth metals of the field are estimated at 53,000 tons.
In accordance with the initial plans of Stans Energy Corp the launch of production of rare earth metals on Kutessay II was scheduled for early 2014. The project also involves building of all the necessary infrastructure, including factories, mines and tailings.
The volume of production of finished products on the field is estimated at 1500 tonnes. Total volume of investments in the project during the next several years should reach more than $500 million.
As of today, the company has drilled 6 additional wells from the bottom lift of the field and found additional ore deposits.
It is planned that after the start of the full-scale development of the field the company will resume operation of the Kashkinsky factory of rare earth elements.
During the first year of its operation its gross output is expected to reach $30 million, while later will be increased up to $40 million. The new enterprise, which will also include the Ak-Tuz ore processing plant, will create 1500 jobs in the region.
In addition to production of rare earth metals, the Canadian company has also not ruled out the possibility of the launch of manufacture of products, containing rare earth materials.
Prior to this, the company plans to modernize and improve the efficiency of ores, which is expected to take place in cooperation with Russian scientific institutions, which took part in the development of the field during the Soviet times.
Stans Energy has had to contend with delays due to a prolonged period for the approval of the license for the development of Kutessay II by the Kyrgyz Agency for Geology, Boris Ariev commented:
“Only in the last two years, more than three committees was established in the Agency for Geology in order to inspect our business, however no final decision was taken. Recently, we heard about the establishment of an interdepartmental committee in the Kirgyz Ministry of Economy, which also verifies our activities, but for some reason, this commission is classified”. While, the investment program has suffered setbacks, delaying the Project, Stans Energy remains optimistic and can “see the light at the end of the tunnel”.
A new and more pragmatic government, which came into power toward the end of September, has shown that it is serious about improving the business conditions for mining companies. A new and more pragmatic government, which came into power toward the end of September, has shown that it is serious about improving the business conditions for mining companies.