PRESS OF UZBEKISTAN
July 12, 2016
UZBEKISTAN: NAVOI MINING AND SMELTING GROUP
As is pointed out in the Presidential Resolution, “On the preparation for and conduct of festivities dedicated to the 25th anniversary of state independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan”, our country has turned from a backward agrarian state with a one-sided hypertrophied economy, based on the monopolistic production of cotton, into a modern, progressive, industrially developed nation with a dynamic economy and a high growth potential.
Among the numerous contributors to these weighty and universally recognized accomplishments is the Navoi Mining and Smelting Group, a leader of the Republic’s mining industry. A state-run enterprise, it is one of the top ten producers of gold and uranium in the world to date. Notwithstanding the serious hardships associated with the radical re-organization of the national economy, big state subsidies were ploughed into the enterprise on the initiative of the Republic’s leaders. The wherewithal enabled the Navoi Mining and Smelting Group to outfit all its sub-divisions with advanced equipment and technologies, as well as to build and put into operation high-tech production lines. As a consequence, the enterprise managed to considerably expand its production capacities and to swell, on this basis, its output volumes. No wonder, then, that the Navoi Mining and Smelting Group has become a unique enterprise in the Uzbek mining industry.
Compared with 1991, the processing volume of gold-containing ores grew 3-fold at the enterprise, with the production of gold increasing by 50 per cent. This allowed the Republic to join the world’s top ten gold producers, whose gold bullions carry the trademark “9999”, an indicator of high quality all over the globe.
It should be observed here that innovative activity played a significant role in this grandiose achievement. Innovations made it possible to completely reconstruct the entire production cycle, making it more efficient, productive and safe. The Navoi Mining and Smelting Group’s innovative potentialities are virtually unlimited, including the skilled personnel, strong scientific-technical specialists, the availability of experimental and training facilities and sizable investments. At the same time, a corresponding management system was introduced to organize a close interaction between innovative, production and marketing aspects of activity.
The introduction of innovative ideas is viewed as a means of ensuring both the output’s quality and competitiveness, on the one hand, and the maintenance of high production rates and profitability levels. The innovative development concept of the Navoi Mining and Smelting Group is oriented to its leadership in the world marketplace. Nowadays, the enterprise enjoys two major advantages, which are helpful in the development of its innovative aspect. These are: modern production and intellectual potential.
To start with, it should be said that innovative technology services are set up at all the enterprise’s large sub-divisions. There is also a central scientific-research laboratory at the Navoi Mining and Smelting Group, where experimental and industrial trials of existing and novel technologies are conducted. It is here that hundreds of methods have been invented for analyzing ores, technologies and qualitative characteristics of finished produce. The efficiency of all these methods is appropriately certified by the Republic’s Gosstandart authorities. Moreover, a scientific-production centre, called “Geology of Precious Metals and Uranium”, has been created within the framework of the Navoi Mining and Smelting Group. The latest mining equipment and specialized software have been acquired from the world’s leading producers, to facilitate its activity.
A lot of innovations introduced in the enterprise’s production process have been invented by the researchers and experts who carry out their activity at its structural sub-divisions. Among them are 3 scientists with a Doctor’s degree and over 30 Candidates of science.
To conduct research on the most pressing problems of its production activity, the Navoi Mining and Smelting Group has forged close relationships with many scientific-research institutions and educational establishments, including O’zGEORANGMETLITI, different departments of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Uzbekistan, such as the institutes of microbiology, geology and geophysics, seismology and edifice seismic stability, general and inorganic chemistry etc. Among its collaborators are also the Institute of Mineral Resources of the State Committee on Geology; the Tashkent State Technological University, the Road-Transport Institute, the Navoi Mining Institute, as well as research institutions from Russia, Germany, Sweden, the South African Republic and other foreign countries.
The Presidential Resolution, “On additional measures to stimulate the application of innovative projects and technologies in production” dated 15th July 2008 has given extra impetus to activities in this direction. In particular, the annual scope of research works conducted and innovative projects elaborated grew, in monetary terms, from 1.3 billion Soum (currency rates of CB RU from 12.07.2016, 1$= 2953.84 soums) to 20 billion Soum, or a 15-fold rise, which had a considerable economic effect.
Examples are thick on the ground. Today, for instance, the Navoi Mining and Smelting Group is capable of processing the rest gold-sulphidic ores with a high content of gold thanks to the application of a new technology – the bacterial leaching of such ores – at the hydrometallurgical plant No 3 located in the Uchkuduk district. It is worth pointing out at this point that the technology in question is very innovative and environmentally safe.
What is also noteworthy is that the Navoi Mining and Smelting Group is the firstling of independent Uzbekistan, which was built with all sorts of backing from the Uzbek leader. The enterprise has opened a new page in the history of the country’s gold extracting industry. At the end of 2011, an efficient and commercially viable improved technology was introduced at the Navoi Mining and Smelting Group – the metallurgical processing of bio-oxidation products, by using the coal absorption process. In other words, the resin used as an ion exchanger in the absorption cyaniding process was replaced by a cheaper sorbent – activated coal, which is also inert to various admixtures. Divisions of desorption, coal reactivation and gold electrolysis were constructed and put into operation as soon as possible.
Progressive ore-extraction and transportation technologies are also continuously inculcated in the production activity of the Muruntau open-cast mine. More technologically advanced dump trucks replaced those exploited there for many years already. Furthermore, highly-productive open-cast machinery was introduced, such as dump-body trucks with carrying capacity of up to 220 tons and excavators with the bucket capacity of 20 c. m.
The construction of a steeply-sloping conveyor KNK-270 was a remarkable event in the enterprise’s history. With the productivity of up to 3,000 t/h and the lifting height of 270 m at the slope angle of 37 degree, it significantly raised the efficiency of the Muruntau open-cast mine’s performance.
Putting into operation the new equipment made it possible to intensify the exploration of the open-cast mine’s reserves. An optimum scheme of exploration was determined and the borders of the united Muruntau-Myutenbay open-cast mine defined more precisely. The enterprise went over to a new motor-conveyer haulage of mining mass. The application of the KNK-270 conveyer permitted the enterprise to bring the economically expedient depth of the open-cast mine’s exploitation, under a fifth-stage project, to 950 meters.
Thanks to continued work on technical re-equipment and reconstruction of technological alterations and the application of research on the improvement of technological processes, the productivity of the country’s biggest hydrometallurgical plant No 2 has skyrocketed by 190.5 per cent compared with the year 1991.
The processing of out-of-balance ores at the Muruntau deposit using the heap leaching methods enables the enterprise to make the production process completely non-waste. It is one of the latest technologies introduced at the Navoi Mining and Smelting Group. The Expansion, Technical and Technological Re-equipment Project brought to completion in 2012 was designed to organize additional grounds for oil piling.
The construction of mining and processing enterprises proves a unique experience for the enterprise’s personnel. Indeed, it is a sort of experimental stands, where innovations and inventions are tested and then inculcated in production. In 2010, a second hydrometallurgical plant (HMP-4) was built there. The advanced technologies of intensive gravitation and gold-containing concentrate leaching are widely applied at a given enterprise. As a consequence, production volumes of gold have swelled 7-fold compared with 2007.
As part of measures to reduce the prime cost of output, modern energy-efficient and energy-saving technologies are introduced in production on a stage-by-stage basis, which inevitably leads to tangible reductions in power consumption. Targeted work is under way to inculcate helio-collectors across all sub-divisions of the Navoi Mining and Smelting Group. At the present time, new equipment is put into operation there. With the production capacity of 2 537 GCal/y, it is expected to save more than 3.5 million kWt/h of electric energy a year. The construction of photo-electric power stations has been launched in 2015. Similar projects are planned to implement between 2017 and 2019. The total capacity of new photo-electric power stations will come to 3 MWt.
The project “The increase in energy efficiency of sulphuric-acid production by generating electric energy from secondary power resources”, which is now in full swing at the North Mine Administration of the Navoi Mining and Smelting Group, stipulates the exploitation of a 6 MWt/h steam turbine to run on excessive heat that has hitherto been emitted to the atmosphere since the enterprise’s first day of performance.
It is necessary to give particular attention to a range of innovative technologies used at agricultural enterprises of the Navoi Mining and Smelting Group. Since 2012, work is under way on the elaboration and introduction of a new technology to utilize the organic waste available in vast quantities at the stock-raising farms with the help of bio-gas plants. The total annual production of bio gas came to 210 thou c. m. The 164 thou c. m. of bio gas produced in 2015 was used to generate 997 GCal of heat energy, and to turn out 43.5 tons of dry fertilizer (bio-humus) and 1,500 tons of liquid fertilizer.
There are several factors that boost the overall efficiency with which the Navoi Mining and Smelting Group operates, while strengthening its position and role not only in the national economy, but also among the world’s largest mining and smelting companies. These include: a rich mineral-raw material base, high qualification of personnel, whose average age is 37, and the exploitation of advanced resource-saving technologies when developing deposits that are located in the extremely complex climatic conditions of the Kyzylkum district.
The innovative path of development followed by the Navoi Mining and Smelting Group, whose efficiency has been recognized by international specialists, goes on surprising and admiring miners in the whole world.
(Source: «Business partner.uz» newspaper)