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ArticleName The Udokan project: features of its development and return on investment
DOI 10.17580/tsm.2019.02.01
ArticleAuthor Ptitsyn A. M.

LLC Orgenergoservis, Moscow, Russia:

A. M. Ptitsyn, Chief Engineer, e-mail:


A problem of the Udokan deposit development has regularly arisen for 50 years already. A major limitation to the successful development of the large deposit is low return on investment, with investment amounting to USD 6–10 bn. The paper evaluates how different processing methods, in particular direct ore beneficiation, influence a successful project implementation in economic terms. Leaching of a total ore volume before beneficiation is proved to be feasible and have a positive influence on ore dressability parameters. The paper contains comparative data on return on investment of the Udokan project, when applying different technologies. It is shown that return on investment of the Udokan project has an exponential dependence on copper throughout extraction to finished products. It is also noted that considering a significant content of oxidized minerals in Udokan ore, a main method to increase copper throughout extraction from ore is deemed to be leaching before beneficiation. The paper conclusion gives specific recommendations on the ways to increase economic performance of the Udokan deposit development project.

keywords Project return on investment, copper throughout extraction, beneficiation, acid leaching, ore grinding, ore oxidation rate

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