KAZ Minerals said that the new equity funding will be used for the development of the Koksay copper project. The funding will cover various aspects of the development, including a feasibility study to determine the detailed design for mining and processing operations and also the capital budget associated with the project.

KAZ Minerals expects its board to review the results of the feasibility study to determine how and when to proceed with the Kazak copper mine project.

The potential open pit copper mine development project is located about 230km from Almaty. It holds a mineral resource of 736 MT at an average copper grade of 0.42%, with contained copper of 3.1 MT.

KAZ Minerals chair Oleg Novachuk said: “We are pleased to welcome NFC as a partner in the Koksay project. We worked successfully with NFC in the construction of Bozshakol and Aktogay and we are looking forward to developing our relationship further as we assess this opportunity in Kazakhstan.”

The transaction will be subject to regulatory approvals in both Kazakhstan and China, among other preceding conditions.

The Koksay copper deposit, which is estimated to have a mine life of 20 years, was acquired by Kazakhmys for $260m in 2014 from CCC Mining Construction. Kazakhmys was restructured into Kazakhmys and KAZ Minerals with the latter taking over the ownership of the copper deposit.

KAZ Minerals focuses on large scale open pit copper mining in Kazakhstan. The company operates the Bozshakol and Aktogay open pit copper mines in the Pavlodar and East Region of Kazakhstan.

KAZ Minerals also owns and operates three underground mines and associated concentrators in the East Region of the country in addition to the Bozymchak copper-gold mine located in Kyrgyzstan.

Last year, the company’s total copper production was 259 kt while the by-products’ output included 58 kt of zinc in concentrate, 179 koz of gold and 3,506 koz of silver.