Chinese venture to start mining battery metal antimony in Tajikistan

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AYNI REGION, Tajikistan (Reuters) - A Chinese joint venture will start mining antimony, a flame-proof metal used in batteries, in Tajikistan next year with the state mining company, aiming eventually to produce a tenth of global output.

TALCO Gold, jointly owned by Tajik state aluminum firm TALCO and China’s Tibet Huayu Mining Co, is developing the Konchoch deposits in the Western part of the mountainous ex-Soviet republic. It will also produce gold.

Commercial production of gold and antimony will begin next March, TALCO spokesman Igor Sattarov said.

TALCO Gold aims to eventually produce 10% of the global output of antimony, he said. That would give Tibet Huayu Mining a 27% share of the global market as it already produces elsewhere and the market is already dominated by Chinese miners.

The joint venture plans to produce 2.2 tonnes of gold a year, 15,000 tonnes of antimony and 6,000 tonnes of antimony oxide. Last year, Tajikistan produced 6.4 tonnes of gold.

Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Susan Fenton