Russias largest new copper deposit to be developed under UN Global Compact guidelines

Udokan Copper, one of the companies owned by Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov’s holding firm USM, announced that it has joined the UN Global Compact.

Joining the initiative means the company voluntarily agrees that its business strategy and operations should align with the UN Ten Principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Normally, the UN Global Compact participants are full-fledged operating businesses, but Udokan Copper — which is developing the Udokan copper deposit in the Zabaikalye Territory in Russia’s Far East — decided to join the UN initiative in the construction stage.

According to the miner, the reason to do so is that it is already following the best global practices in ESG, minimizing its carbon footprint, and pursuing a large-scale social investment program, with over $24 million already spent on social initiatives.

“Joining the UN Global Compact means more responsibility; it also provides access to the expertise of the United Nations and other international participants of the initiative, and to advice from top global experts,” the company said in a media statement. “This move will help the company strengthen its repute, gain new business connections all over the world and facilitate its participation in global events and the UN global projects.”

For Udokan Copper’s management, doing business sustainably is a necessary condition to compete on the global product and capital markets, to gain access to financing, to build a trustful and effective relationship with society and the state, and to be an appealing employer.

“Developing the Udokan deposit is a greenfield project that was launched as an example of sustainable and responsible production. The UN SDGs can only be reached by pooling the will and the effort of the governments, people, civil organizations and businesses. We are glad to join the global like-minded community and make yet another step towards the sustainable future,” the press brief reads.

Udokan Copper was established to develop its namesake deposit, which has resources exceeding 26 million tonnes and is considered to be Russia’s largest new copper deposit.

The resources of the deposit, according to JORC are 26.7 million tonnes of copper, with a copper grade of 1.05%. The deposit is located in the Kalar Municipal District of the Zabaikalye Territory, 30 kilometres away from Novaya Chara station of the Baikal-Amur Mainline.

The project includes the commissioning of a mining and metallurgical plant, with the final products being cathode copper and sulphide concentrate. Production volume has been estimated at 135,000 tonnes of copper per year.

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