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Kyrgyzstan Review, 10 years ago




[25.03.2OO3] Excerpt from the Interview with T.Sartbaev, JSC Aidarkensymap (Haidarkan Mercury Plant)

Mercury produced by Aidarken plant is mainly used in the military, chemical industry and production of medical supplies. Aidarken plant is the second in the world in mercury production after the Spanish company Almaden.
 
The real problems started for the plant in 1993 after the state ceased providing subsides. In 1995 the plant joined the program PESAC. According to the program, the plant had been restructured and expanded, it also established partnership relations with some major international companies and managed to avoid bankruptcy
 
252 tons of mercury and 2656 tons of fluor-spar concentrate was produced in 2002. 112,9 mln soms received from selling the plants produce
 
Now the demand for mercury in the world is going down together with its price. For instance, in 1996 a ton of mercury sold for 16 thousand dollars in the international market compared to 4 thousand dollars per ton today. Production costs are increasing every year
 
Recently China has been buying mercury from the Kyrgyz plant. Our marketing department is efficient and we merely have problems with the sale of our products. However, there are some with the fluor-spar concentrate. Russia buys the concentrate and transportation costs incurred, result in price increase Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan collect railroad transit fees and 20% VAT is to be paid in Russia. So its cheaper for Russia to buy fluor-spar concentrate in Mongolia and at this time there are 3,2 tons of it stored in our warehouses
 
Its been 62 years since mercury has been mined in Aidarken. The upper layer is now completely exhausted and mercury is extracted from mines 300-400 meter deep Research data shows that there is a huge deposit of mercury in Uluu-Too region. If mercury prices go up, then the deposit can be prospective investment, if not, however there is no reason to operate at a loss
 
At present 992 workers are employed at the JCS Aidarkensymap. They earn an average monthly salary of 2780 soms. Those, working in the open-cast mines earn up to 7-8 thousand soms
 
The enterprise transferred 14,3 thousand soms to the Social Fund and 13,5 thousand soms to the Tax Service in 2002.
 
Kyrgyz Tuusu, March 25, 2003

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