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Astana, Kazakhstan • 10 April, 2024 | 10:52

Boutique Bank to Invest in Exploration of Rare Earths in Kostanay Region

Cove Capital will create a joint venture with Tau-Ken Samruk for geological exploration at the Akbulak site

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The National Mining Company Tau-Ken Samruk and the international boutique investment bank Cove Capital intend to launch a joint venture for geological exploration at the Akbulak site in the Kostanay region, QazMonitor reports citing the company’s press service.

What happened: On April 9, Bakyt Chirchikbayev, CEO of Tau-Ken Samruk, and Pini Althaus, Managing Partner of Cove Capital, signed a term sheet for geological exploration. The planned venture will be split between equity parties, Qazgeology, a subsidiary of Tau-Ken Samruk – 25%, and Cove Capital – 75%. The foreign company will fully finance the exploration work until the reserves are recorded on the balance sheet.

  • Earlier in September, the parties signed a memorandum of understanding regarding the cooperation on critical raw materials, and particularly rare-earth elements.

Akbulak Site: The site is located 35 km southwest of the city of Arkalyk in the Kostanay region, covering a total area of 64.55 sq km; the deposit area is about 2 sq km.

  • A 2023 study by Qazgeology estimated a six-year timeline for project realization, with required investments totaling ₸612 million (as of April 10, 2024, $1.36 million) for exploration activities and ₸425 million ($950,359) for preliminary work in the first year of pilot production.

  • The deposit boasts significant reserves of rare earth minerals such as xenotime, rhabdophane, churchite, and bastnaesite, with an average content forecast of 272 g/t for yttrium oxide and 790 g/t for oxides of rare earths.

  • Additionally, by-product recovery of elements like tin (50-200 g/t) and zirconium (150-300 g/t), along with lanthanum, erbium, thulium, and others, present further opportunities.

Cove Capital: Founded in 2015, Cove Capital is a boutique investment bank with corporate finance and strategic advisory specialties that operates from its office in Melbourne, Australia, and headquarters in New York, the US. The company specializes in corporate finance and strategic advisory services, offering senior-level guidance and transaction solutions across various sectors including life sciences, biopharmaceuticals, medical technology, renewable energy, clean technology, and mining.

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