Tajikistan’s state-owned aluminium smelter Talco has reportedly launched a $200m joint venture (JV) with Chinese firm Tibet Huayu Mining to explore for gold and antimony in Tajikistan.

On 24 June, the partners conducted a ground-breaking ceremony for a mine that is anticipated to be operational from 2020, according to AFP and the Tajik presidential press service.

Through the JV Talco Gold, which will be the operator of the mine, Talco and Huayu expect to produce 1.5t of gold per annum and 16,000t of antimony.

“The latest deal builds on China’s acquisition of rights to several mineral concessions in Tajikistan in recent years.”

The press service noted that the mine is estimated to have total deposits of around 50t of gold and 265,000t of antimony.

The latest deal builds on China’s acquisition of rights to several mineral concessions in Tajikistan in recent years.

Earlier this year, Tajikistan awarded the rights to operate the Upper Kumargh gold mine in the country’s northern Sugd region to China’s TBEA.

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The mine was awarded in exchange for TBEA’s construction of a power plant in Dushanbe, according to media reports.

Export-Import Bank of China is a chief facilitator of much of the Chinese investment in Tajikistan, reported AFP.

Established in 2002, Tibet Huayu Mining is focused on the development, processing, and sale of non-ferrous metals such as lead, zinc and copper.

With an asset base worth CNY1bn ($153.72m), the company is also engaged in a survey of solid mineral resources.