By Mariya Gordeyeva
ALMATY Feb 19 Glencore-controlled zinc
producer Kazzinc and Kazakh investment company Verny Capital
have purchased two gold deposits in northern Kazakhstan with
combined reserves of some 70 tonnes for about $200 million,
Verny Capital said on Tuesday.
The deal was accomplished through the purchase of Kazakh
company Orion Minerals which owns rights for subsoil use at the
Raigorodok field in the Akmola Region and Komarovskoye in the
Kostanai region, Verny Capital said in a statement.
Kazzinc owns 89.5 percent in the new company and Verny
Capital 10.5 percent.
"The new owners intend to implement an investment programme
aimed at further industrial development of these deposits,"
Verny Capital said. Verny also said that after additional
exploration the reserves of the two fields could turn out to be
Verny Capital, with interests spanning mining, telecoms,
media, infrastructure and real estate, earlier this month sold a
29.8 percent stake in Kazzinc to Kazakhstan's sovereign wealth
fund Samruk-Kazyna for $1.65 billion, the fund said
on Feb. 14.
The deal prevented Glencore, which holds 69.61 percent in
Kazzinc, from achieving its goal of increasing its stake to 93
percent of Kazzinc.
Kazzinc, which wholly owns the Vasilkovskoye gold deposit in
Kazakhstan, has been in the process of spinning off gold assets
into a separate vehicle to focus on the development of its
precious metals business.
The Vasilkovskoye, Kazakhstan's largest field, is estimated
to hold 360 tonnes of gold.
Last year, Kazzinc produced 301,237 tonnes of zinc and
497,086 ounces of gold, its production data show.
Kazakhstan, central Asia's largest economy and
second-largest post-Soviet oil producer after Russia, boosted
its refined gold output by 26.9 percent to 21.154 tonnes last
year, according to official statistics.
The central bank is currently purchasing all of the gold
refined in Kazakhstan.