By Demir Azizov
The Australian-British Rio Tinto Mining & Exploration Ltd. (Rio Tinto) has completed the second phase of exploration work on the promising Gava area (Namangan region of Uzbekistan), the State Committee for Geology and Mineral Resources (Goskomgeo) of Uzbekistan told Trend Sept. 3.
The results of exploration will be analyzed before late 2015, and after that Rio Tinto will make a decision on its further work in Uzbekistan, according to the source.
The source did not disclose the parameters of the drilling, but said that the company fulfills all the financial obligations provided by the license agreement.
It was previously reported that the Uzbek State Committee for Geology and Mineral Resources issued a license to the Rio Tinto in December 2012 for geological survey at the Gava area, which is promising in terms of copper deposits.
The license was granted for five years. The searches are carried out under the terms of business risk.
The operator company Gava Exploration LLC (a wholly owned subsidiary of the Rio Tinto) was established for operations in Uzbekistan. Rio Tinto held preliminary geological exploration in June 2013 in the Gava area.
The three-year exploration program of Rio Tinto, designed for 2013-2015, was estimated at $3 million, and in 2015 – at $1 million.
Earlier, representatives of Rio Tinto said that in the case of positive results, the company can invest in geological exploration for copper in Uzbekistan up to $100 million.
Earlier, the Rio Tinto representatives said that if there were positive results, the company would invest up to $100 million in the exploration for copper in Uzbekistan.
At present, there are about 900 Uzbekistan ore occurance and copper deposits, but only three fields of them are commissioned, which are concentrated in the Almalyk Tashkent region.
Almalyk MMC is the only copper producer in Uzbekistan and one of the largest producers of nonferrous metals in the Central Asian region.