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How to make a career in Transbaikalia

Bystrinsky GOK opens the era of "new industrialization" in the Trans-Baikal Territory

How to make a career in Transbaikalia
Photo: nornickel.ru

Few weeks remain until September 1 - the deadline for when the national program for the development of the Far East should be presented in final form to the President for approval. Each of the DFO regions has already identified a system of priority projects, the support of which it will request from the federal government in the coming years and a longer perspective. Back in May, the Legislative Assembly of Transbaikalia approved its proposals to the national program - “A plan to accelerate the economic growth of the Trans-Baikal Territory to 2025 of the year”. This is actually a breakthrough strategy from the environment - after many years of struggle with the region’s lingering problems. 

According to the calculations of the regional Ministry of Economics, for Transbaikalia today there are two most likely development scenarios. The first is the so-called inertia. It will not require additional incentives, will allow the region not to slip into stagnation and crisis and overcome the current recession, but in this case it is impossible to wait for “breakthroughs”. The maximum amount of growth of gross regional product to 2025, with such input - 41,7%. The second scenario is the target. It assumes 6-percent growth of the regional economy annually - with the support of Moscow and with the maximum use of its own resources and market mechanisms. In this case, we are talking about a dynamic increase in GRP - by 72% and a significant increase in investment volumes from today's 90 billion rubles a year to 163 billion. Exports, which now amount to 433,5 million dollars, will grow to 1,4 billion, that is, more than three times. 

Intensification of production, staking on new technologies and market mechanisms are the main conditions for the development of the regional economy to follow the maximum scenario. The key driver for Transbaikalia has been and remains the mining industry. As stated by the Acting Governor of the Trans-Baikal Territory, Alexander Osipov, the administration of the region has given and will give priority attention to its support. In addition to traditional coal, the region intends to mine copper, silver, iron and gold on an industrial scale. Two projects are waiting for the greatest return: the launch of the mining and smelting plant at the Udokan copper deposit in 2022 (+ 11% GRP) and the full design capacity of the Bystrinsky mining and processing plant (+ 7% GRP already in 2020). Acting head of the region does not exclude that others will eventually be added to these projects. 

Bystrinsky GOK was built by the Norilsk Nickel holding in record-breaking 3,5 years literally “in an open field” in the Gazimuro-Zavodskoy district of the Trans-Baikal Territory - one of the most remote and seismically difficult places with a harsh climate. Today in Transbaikalia, this is an example of the most successful implementation of a large investment project based on the principles of public-private partnership. The head of Norilsk Nickel, Vladimir Potanin, once compared the construction of the Bystrinsky GOK with the great construction projects of the industrialization era. The work has really been done enormous. With the support of the state and Nornickel's own $ 90 billion investment, not only was the plant itself and its auxiliary services equipped with the most modern technology and digital equipment erected, but also an external infrastructure was created. 234 km of power lines have been stretched, 227 km of railway have been laid. The effect was not long in coming. Thanks to BGOK, the industrial growth of the Trans-Baikal Territory last year was 4% (the average for Russia is a modest 1%). For not the richest and most industrially developed region, this is not just a success - a real victory. 

The GOK is already operating in the commissioning mode, enriching the ore of the Bystrinsky deposit of gold, copper and iron - its 300 millionth reserves will last at least thirty years. Work is under way at four open pits, and in April the first batch of copper concentrate was exported to China. By 2021, the mine will reach its design capacity and will produce about 3 million tonnes of magnetite concentrate, 260 thousand tonnes of copper concentrate and 9,5 million troy ounces of gold.

This is a modern production facility that meets all international standards. The only plant in the country where it became possible to completely do without manual labor in the process of loading concentrate into wagons. The best equipment is used in the open-pit mines, production processes (ore supply, crushing, filling and transfer of ore mass) are automated, in key areas dispatching systems are fully digitalized. BGOK provides jobs for about three and a half thousand people, and now there is an active recruitment of personnel for the vacancies that have opened. They range from miners and quarry equipment drivers to computer technicians, from welders to site managers with fully automated lines. The influx of qualified personnel has a beneficial effect on the labor market and the migration situation in the region. As explained by the general director of the mining company "Bystrinskoe" Alexander Popov, specialists from various regions work at BGOK - Moscow, Kuzbass, Norilsk, the Urals, subjects of the Far Eastern Federal District. But the overwhelming majority - about 80% - are residents of Transbaikalia itself. 

Over the next few years, the Bystrinsky GOK will provide hundreds of millions of rubles in the form of tax deductions to the regional budget. Over a decade, this amount should be about 18 billion rubles. When such large enterprises operate in the region, not only the industrial sector, but also other market segments, the service sector, transport, and construction are revived. In 2018, Transbaikalian businessmen who won tenders for the purchase of goods and services for BGOK received about 365 million rubles. In 2019, the company plans to conduct more than 400 purchases worth over 4 billion rubles. Local business will be able to earn the lion's share of these funds. Supplies are required very different - for example, for the needs of the settlement of rotation workers, about 160 tons of vegetables and greens, 550 thousands of eggs per year, as well as many other goods will be needed. People cannot do without cinema and mass cultural events, without medical services - and this will also go to the region as an income. Plus office equipment, overalls, drilling and blasting, road maintenance, rental of premises and transport, advertising services, cleaning and so on. Small and medium-sized businesses will be where to turn. In addition, the company "Norilsk Nickel" has already announced its intention to send about 3 billion rubles to social programs in Transbaikalia.

According to Gennady Shevchuk, General Director of Vostokgeologiya, which is now completing the development of all units and technological units of BGOK before its final commissioning, the opening of the Bystrinsky GOK is of colossal and vital importance for the Trans-Baikal Territory. Shevchuk notes that they have always said about this region - "there are many reserves, few deposits." Bearing in mind that most of the deposits of coal, copper, gold, polymetals or molybdenum were not developed here due to unprofitability. “If Bystrinskoye had not been opened and the plant had not been built, the economy of the region would have become close to disaster,” Shevchuk is sure. 

Now the tonality is completely different. Acting Governor of the Trans-Baikal Territory, Alexander Osipov, is confident that Bystrinsky GOK will take leading positions in its industry and ensure economic growth for the entire region. And the infrastructure created for this project will allow attracting new investors to Transbaikalia. 
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