The board approved the development of the project on 25 August 2011. The site is located in North Kazakhstan, and is accessible by road and rail from the capital Astana. We started working from a greenfield site. This is the beginning of our journey.
Bozshakol is located close to existing major roads and a railway, which allowed us to complete ground work and build the initial site infrastructure in a short timeframe.
In 2012 we completed the water supply piping, and having received construction equipment, commenced the earthworks on site. We established an office building, built a temporary camp for the construction workforce, laid the foundations and commenced the erection of structural steel frames and walls for the main buildings, erected a roof beam on the grinding building and started the construction of the tailing thickeners walls.
In 2013 we finished most of the foundation works and most of the main buildings were enclosed. We also completed the steel structure of the accommodation building at the permanent camp, laid the foundation and erected the steel frames of the plant maintenance workshops and completed the main access road to permit transportation of the heavy equipment to the site. We delivered the first shipment of heavy equipment from Antwerp to Bozshakol with parts of ball mills and SAG mils to the site in the end of July 2013. We are almost 50% complete, and you can see the shape of the final project now.
In the first half of 2014 we completed the construction of the main concentrator building and the 220kV power line. During the autumn months we completed the construction of the permanent camp and the assembly of haul trucks and shovels for pre-production mining in Q1 2015. We also commenced installation of the mills and internal steel platforms in the grinding and flotation areas and started the construction of the overland ore conveyor. The project is due for commissioning in Q4 2015.
As of June 2015 we had completed all key sulphide concrete and steel works, non-process buildings, permanent camp, main access road and railroad, 220 kV power line and substation tie-in. Mining equipment including haul trucks, shovels and excavators were delivered and assembled and shells, heads and stators for all three mills were assembled. In the coming months we will be working on the installation of the primary crusher, the rougher and cleaner flotation cells and bulk material for underground piping and electrical works, installation and testing of ball and SAG mills and the construction of the clay plant. We started pre-production mining in June 2015 and the sulphide concentrator commenced commissioning in December 2015.
The project commenced production of saleable copper concentrate at the main sulphide concentrator in February 2016, with the first shipment made in March. Commissioning works at the clay plant commenced on 29 September 2016.