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Operations begin at Udokan, Russia’s largest copper deposit

Intellinews - After more than a decade in the making, strip-mining operations began in the depths of Siberia at Udokan, one of the largest copper deposits in the world, the company announced on August 10.

As bne IntelliNews reported, twelve years ago Alisher Usmanov, one of the richest men in Russia, paid $500mn for the Udokan licence, which contains millions of tonnes of copper ore that was discovered in Soviet times, but proved technically difficult to develop thanks to its remote location in the region near Lake Baikal.

Usmanov plans to invest about $2.9bn in developing the mine, which has come online early, as originally the launch of the plant was scheduled for 2023. Geologists estimate there are 26.7mn tonnes of copper ore under the JORC (Australian Joint Ore Reserves Committee, the industry standard) classification.

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