China Nonferrous Metal Industry’s Foreign Engineering and Construction Company (NFC) has reached an agreement to invest $70m in KAZ Minerals’ Koksay copper project in Kazakhstan.

In exchange for the proposed investment, NFC will own a 19.4% stake in Koksay, which is a potential open pit copper mine development project.

The deal is conditional upon certain conditions such as regulatory approvals in Kazakhstan and China.

Located 230km from Almaty, the deposit is estimated to contain measured, indicated and inferred resources of 736Mt at an average copper grade of 0.42%, with contained copper of 3.1Mt.

“We are looking forward to developing our relationship further as we assess this opportunity in Kazakhstan.”

KAZ Minerals chairperson Oleg Novachuk said: “We are pleased to welcome NFC as a partner in the Koksay project.

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By GlobalData

“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 investment will be ring-fenced and used to finance a feasibility study (FS) for the project.

The FS will outline the detailed design for mining and processing operations, as well as the associated capital budget.

Depending on the results of the FS, UK-based KAZ Minerals will decide on how and when to proceed with the project.

The company’s operations in Kazakhstan include the Bozshakol open pit mine in Pavlodar, the Aktogay open pit mine and three underground mines in the eastern region. It also operates the Bozymchak open pit mine in Kyrgyzstan.