TASHKENT (TCA) — Uzbekistan’s gold reserves are expected to increase by 474 tons worth 18.75 billion U.S. dollars during 2020-2024, according to a draft document published on February 26 by the country’s State Committee for Geology, Xinhua news agency reports.
According to the Committee, Uzbekistan’s gold reserves reached 5,990 tons as of January 1, 2018.
In 2017, the country produced 89.9 tons of gold.
Uzbekistan is one of the largest gold producers in the former Soviet Union.
The Central Asian nation plans to invest around 230 million US dollars in searching, evaluating and exploring its gold reserves, which is 45 percent of the total allotment for geological survey of the sector, said the document.
The main part of the geological works will be carried out in the Central Kyzylkum desert in the Navoi region, as well as in Samarkand and Tashkent regions.
Uzbekistan has been carrying out reforms to develop its mining sector, which include lifting bans on private gold mining.
Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has been opening up the country’s economy for foreign investors since he came to power in 2016. He ordered in February more transparent policies for the country’s gold reserves and production.
Last year, the state information agency Jahon reported that a modern high-tech production complex was to be created in Uzbekistan’s Navoi region in the coming years to produce gold and silver dimensional ingots. The new facility will emerge on the basis of Navoi Mining and Metallurgical Combine. It will produce ingots weighing from 5 to 1,000 grams.
This project will allow for developing one of the main world trends – shopping tourism for buying gold items.
By 2020, Uzbekistan intends to increase the annual output of jewelry products to more than $40 million. In three years, it is planned to increase the output of silver products by 6.2 times – from $112 thousand in 2018 to $760.5 thousand in 2020, and from gold – 2.4 times, from $16.4 million to $39.6 million.