Russian state industrial corporation Rostec has left the Tomtor rare earth metals field it has been developing jointly with ICT Group of Alexander Nesis since 2013.
Rostec transferred its 25% plus one share in the field’s developer ThreeArc Mining to Cyprus-registered Zaltama Holding Ltd, affiliated with Oleg Misevra, chairman of the board of directors of East Mining Company and a former president of Siberian Coal Energy Company. ICT Group, a co-owner of East Mining Company, still holds the remaining 75% minus one share in ThreeArc Mining.
Misevra is guided by favorable forecasts for the niobium market, as its consumption is growing in line with steel production and Russian steelmakers buy it abroad, while China expands its consumption and buys Brazilian assets, while the U.S. considers the metal a critically important mineral resource for its economy.
The Tomtor field is one of the world’s largest rare earth metals fields with projected reserves of 154 million tons of ore.
A spokesperson for Misevra confirmed participation in the promising project.
“We are entering the project as investors,” the spokesperson said.
ICT Group declined to comment, while a source close to its shareholders said that the changes expanded ThreeArc Mining’s possibilities of attracting private investment and of borrowing money, including raising funds on the international markets. A Rostec representative said that the company left the joint venture, as it had fulfilled all the goals that the government set six years ago.
“The project has reached the stage of readiness for construction of a mining and processing plant, the field has actually started the countdown for the launch of development,” the representative said, adding that the company now planned to focus on other projects.
Andzhei Krasutsky, a spokesman for ThreeArc Mining, noted that development of the Buranny site of the Tomtor field would start in 2022 and would reach the projected capacity in 2024 after the launch of a leaching plant in the city of Krasnokamensk in 2023. (Prime/Ukrainian metal)