It is used, among other things, for the production of ammunition and the United States really needs it.
First in the world?
President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon in his last message instructed the government to pay special attention to the extraction and processing of non-ferrous metals, including antimony, lithium, tungsten, nickel and other metals.
He noted the need to develop and implement a separate program for the development and processing of metals to final products within the country. He stressed that Tajikistan ranks first in the world in terms of antimony reserves.
To obtain detailed information on stocks, production, production and export of antimony, Asia-Plus addressed requests to the Ministry of Industry, the Main Department of Geology and the Agency for Statistics.
The statistic agency’s written response advises, in one sentence, to contact the “relevant sectoral bodies” in order to obtain “primary, specific and detailed information.”
ndustry bodies did not respond to “Asia-Plus” for a month, violating the norms of several legislative acts at once, up to the Constitution of the country. Among other things, we asked about the reliability of information on antimony reserves provided to the president. The matter is that earlier it was reported that Tajikistan on these stocks is at the best on the third place.
And just yesterday, on February 1, at the final press conference of the Main Department of Geology of the Republic of Tatarstan, its head, Ilkhomjon Oymuhammadzoda, said that China ranks first in antimony reserves in the world, and Tajikistan now ranks second and first among the CIS countries.
He said that there are 11 antimony deposits in the republic, 9 of which are located in the Zarafshan and Gissar valleys.
At the same time, he did not answer the question of what volumes of antimony reserves Tajikistan has.
So how much antimony do we have?
The portal of the Geological Survey (geoportal-tj.org) states that the Zeravshan-Hissar mercury-antimony belt has large reserves of antimony. The richest antimony ores were found in the Dzhizhikrut deposit (in the Aini region), containing more than 15% of this semimetal. Since the late 1940s, the Anzob mining and processing plant (today the Tajik-American joint venture Anzob) has been operating on the basis of these reserves with a design capacity of 700,000 tons per year.
Concentrates of mercury-antimony ores of Tajikistan are processed in other countries – previously, mainly in Kyrgyzstan, and after the closure of the border with this neighbor at the end of April 2021 – in China.
“The mineral resource base of antimony in the republic can be expanded many times by expanding exploration work at deposits of other ore regions where promising areas have been identified,” Tajik geologists conclude.
According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) , Tajikistan has been the world’s third largest producer of antimony for several years. In 2019, the republic produced 16 thousand tons of this semi-metal. Only Russia (30 thousand tons) and China (100 thousand tons) produced more. At the same time, the production of antimony in Russia has remained at the same level in recent years, while in Tajikistan it is growing.
The production of this semimetal in Tajikistan in 2019 compared to 2010 increased almost 3 times, as did the share of the republic in global production.