The Kazakhstan government announced that China Nonferrous Metal Industry’s Foreign Engineering and Construction (NFC) will construct a copper smelter in Kazakhstan.

In this regard, an agreement has been inked by KAZ Minerals Smelting, NFC, and NFC Kazakhstan signed an agreement.

To be constructed near the village of Aktogay in the Abay region, the proposed smelter will entail a preliminary cost of $1.5bn.

NFC will serve as the supplier of design services and procurement of process equipment while NFC Kazakhstan will be the construction and commissioning contractor for the copper smelter.

The proposed copper smelter will receive copper concentrate as raw materials from the Bozshakol and Aktogay mining and processing plants of Vostoktsvetmet.

The Kazakhstan government said that the construction of the new facility will create a cluster bringing together one of the world’s largest copper mines and a modern copper smelting facility.

The proposed smelter is projected to have a copper production capacity of 300,000 tonnes per annum.

The project, which is slated to be commissioned by the end of 2028, will generate more than 1,000 new jobs.

Kazakhstan Prime Minister Olzhas Bektenov said: “The Head of State has set the task of sustainable economic growth. The construction of the new copper smelter is a major industrial project that will increase the processing of copper raw materials mined in the country and will make a great contribution to the economy of our country.

“Copper industry is one of the priority sectors of our industry and its dynamic development is very important for us.”

The new facility is expected to address the domestic market demand for the processing of copper-containing raw materials and copper cathode. Besides, the copper smelter will produce refined gold, silver, and sulphuric acid.