Magnezit co. starts developing Siberia magnesia deposit

MOSCOW, September 11 (RIA Novosti) - Magnezit Group has started developing a magnesia deposit in Siberia after investing more than a billion rubles (about $37.3 million) in the project, the company said Monday.

Industrial production at the Goluboye deposit in the Krasnoyarsk Territory will allow Magnezit, one of the world's largest producers of magnesia refractory materials, to reduce its dependence on the purchases of raw materials (periclase powders) in China, raise output quality and release new products, the company said.

Magnezit, which controls 69% of the Russian market of refractory materials, launched operations at the Goluboye deposit in late August. Industrial output and raw material supplies are expected to begin in late 2006 and early 2007.

The Goluboye magnesia deposit has proven reserves of 15.5 million metric tons, but the reserves could grow after additional exploration. The deposit is expected to yield 200,000 metric tons of raw magnesia a year.

The Goluboye deposit, which includes the highest quality magnesia reserves in the former Soviet republics, is expected to reach its designed production capacity in 2008.

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