DUSHANBE, April 12, 2011, Asia-Plus -- Tajik geologists plan to explore one more gold deposit in Sughd province this year, the head of the Main Geology Directorate, Azim Ibrohim, told Asia-Plus Tuesday afternoon.

According to him, they have worked on exploring that deposit for several years.  “We intensified exploration operations last year following increase in international gold prices,” said Tajik chief geologist, “Before that, we had carried out exploration operations at this deposit superficially, while today, drilling operations are under way there and the drilling results will become known by the end of this year”

Besides, Tajikistan is seeking investor for development of the Mosrif gold ore field located in Panjakent district, Sughd province.  Five gold deposits are located within the Mosrif field and according to Tajik specialists, the Mosrif gold ore field has the possible gold reserves of around 75 tons.  One of the largest gold deposits within the Mosrif field is the Shahbas deposit and according to Ibrohim, China’s gold mining company, Zijin Mining, which assumes the 75 percent ownership interest in the joint gold mining venture, Zeravshan Gold Company (ZGC), is interested in that deposit.  “This company will be put on the list of contenders for the contract for development of the Shahbas deposit,” he noted.

We will recall that the Main Geology Directorate announced in January that two gold deposits have been explored in Tajikistan – the Pakroud field in Vahdat district and the Tabaspin field in Kuhistoni Mastchoh district.  The Pakroud field reportedly has possible gold reserves of 116.8 tons and the Tabaspin field has possible gold reserves of 59 tons.  Explorations at these fields have been conducted since 2004 and the first results were received in 2008.

Three large gold mining companies now operating in Tajikistan: Tilloi Tojik; Tajik-Chinese JV Zeravshan Gold Company (ZGC); and Tajik-Canadian JV Aprelevka.  Tajikistan has 28 known gold deposits containing estimated 429.3 tons of gold.  Last year, the country reportedly produced more than 2 tons of gold, most of which came from the Jilau deposit operated by ZGC.