China Communications and Construction Co has agreed to co-operate in developing Russia’s largest titanium deposit. The project will also involve the construction of a new railroad and development of the Indiga deep-water port.

The Chinese state-owned engineering company, which has been under US sanctions for more than a decade, first met with the Russian Titanium Resources (Rustitan) regarding the project on 17 January.

The mining cluster, located in the Pizhemskoye field in the Komi Republic, holds the world’s largest titanium deposit and more 80% of Russia’s titanium ore reserves.

A second meeting took place between Rustitan and the China Railway Construction Co to discuss the Sosnogorsk-Indiga railroad connection. This project would enable the transportation of materials through the Urals and Siberia.

The deposit, discovered in 2021, also holds zircon, iron ore, and gold. The project seeks to provide marketable products for the China, the world’s largest manufacturer and exporter of titanium.

Prior to sanctions put in place following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Russian titanium was used extensively in the global aerospace industry. Russia’s largest producer, VSMPO-Avisma, supplied around 30% of the industry’s titanium. US company Boeing received 40% of its titanium from Russia and its European rival Airbus procured up to 60% from Russia.

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