The development of the East Siberian Udokan copper deposit, one of the largest in the world, will start in 2011, head of Russia's State Technology Corporation (Rostekhnologii) Sergei Chemezov said on Friday. Rostekhnologii will carry out the project in partnership with Russian mining and metallurgy company Metalloinvest controlled by oligarch Alisher Usmanov. Chemezov is accompanying Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during his visit to India.
Earlier, Rostekhnologii said the project needed at least $1 billion of investment. Metalloinvest said it intended to spend over $3.4 billion on the development of Udokan. Usmanov earlier said the development term should be extended from seven to nine or ten years. Udokan is Russia's largest copper deposit, with estimated ore reserves of 1.375 billion tons. The copper reserves are estimated at 19.95 million tons. The deposit also has silver reserves of 11,900 tons.