Uzbekistan announces $500mn in backing for projects in rare earths

By bne IntelliNews April 30, 2024

Uzbekistan is to invest $500mn in backing promising projects in the mining of rare earth elements (REE), the presidential press service has announced.

The country’s geological sector annually receives up to Uzbekistani som (UZS) 1 trillion ($79.2mn) in state funding. Mining industry production value last year reached almost $11bn.

The country extracts precious and non-ferrous metals and has identified 32 types of critical minerals, according to the presidency. It is eager to develop deposits of 32 metals and minerals that it has identified, with the deposits including platinum, indium, vanadium, tungsten, molybdenum, zinc and manganese.

bne IntelliNews has reported on, given how important critical raw materials (CRM) are to the green energy, green transport and technology revolutions, the hunt for big CRM deposits is on across Central Asia.

A memorandum on developing CRM was lately signed by Uzbekistan and the European Union. President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has ordered the establishment of a CRM project office and the involvement of leading institutes and scientific centres in projects with good potential.

In mining development, he has also issued a directive to cut production costs at Navoi Mining and Metallurgical Combinat (NMMC) by 10−15%, expand industrial cooperation and localisation and organise a dedicated scientific centre for advanced technologies in precious metals.

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