New opportunities for foreign investors in the Ukrainian mining industry were presented in Canada

Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) Convention in Toronto is the world’s annual premier mining industry event, bringing together investors, analysts, mining executives, geologists, students, and government officials.

Attendance at the 88th PDAC 2020 Convention totaled 23,144, highlighting the resilience and innovation of the international mineral exploration and mining sector.

Over 132 countries were present at PDAC, including major mining companies from the United States, Canada, China, Brazil, Australia, India, and South Africa.

For the first time within the PDAC agenda, Canada Ukraine Trade and Investment Support Project (CUTIS) in conjunction with the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce (CUCC) organized a half-day event called “Mining in Ukraine”. Ukrainian State and private mining representatives, as well as Canadian and American mining companies doing business in Ukraine presented to over 80 potential investors. The speakers shared their knowledge about the Ukraine mining industry and potential opportunities.

Roman Opimakh, who serves as the Head of the State Service for Geology and Subsoil of Ukraine was one of the first Ukrainian government speakers. Opimakh highlighted that Ukraine is on its way of transforming State Service for Geology into the service-oriented agency. The plan is to restore trust in the agency by improving the efficiency of its operations and creating investment opportunities for foreign companies. The agency is currently working towards activating “dormant” licenses and lifting artificial regulatory barriers. To attract investments in the development of the Ukrainian mineral sector, the agency is improving access to the existing geological data and conducting e-auctions and PSA tender for mineral projects.

The next speaker, Matt Simpson, CEO of Canadian company Black Iron Inc., a publicly listed company on the TSX, provided an overview of the company’s Shymanivske Iron Ore Project located in Ukraine’s iron belt 8km from Kryvyi Rih, the city with 750,000 people. The site is 2 km from rail, 30 km from power and will have access to 5 ports – 230 km to 430 km from the site. Matt Simpson said that they will need to invest US$436 million for the construction of the mine and plan to produce 4 million tonnes per year of premium 68% iron ore product. The production is scheduled to begin in late 2022. The Company is working closely with the Government of Ukraine to get all the necessary approvals to begin construction. If the project is successful, Matt Simpson predicts that it will generate US$1.2 billion investment over the next 20 years.

Brian C. Savage, Chairman and CEO of Avellana Gold Ltd. a privately held mineral exploration and development company, provided an overview of its development activities in Ukraine. The company owns licenses for gold-polymetallic deposits located in the western, Transcarpathian region of Ukraine near the border with Romania and Hungary. The three licenses cover over 1,300 hectares of land. The company has completed a 3d resource model and is developing a life of mine plan that targets 1 million tonnes of underground mining. Brian Savage said that it will take another two years to bring the project into the production of gold and zinc.

Chairman of the Board of NJSC “Nadra of Ukraine” Taras Kuzmych presented the opportunities of cooperation with NJSC “Nadra of Ukraine”. In particular, Taras Kuzmych outlined the plans for the transformation of NJSC “Nadra of Ukraine” and on specific proposals for cooperation in the field of development of minerals.  In addition to presenting these potential investment projects, Taras Kuzmych stressed the readiness of NJSC “Nadra Ukrainy”, which has vast experience and local expertise, to assist foreign companies entering Ukraine.

Taras Kuzmych presented a detailed brief on frameworks of cooperation with NJSC “Nadra Ukraine” in the joint development of blocks. In particular, it can be conducted on the basis of Production Sharing Agreements (PSAs), Production Enhancement Contracts (PECs) or Joint Activities Agreements (JAAs).

Stanislav Letyvniuk, Development Director of Kislotoupor Group, which was established in 1996, provided an overview of its mining activities in Ukraine. Kislotoupor has been operating in Ukraine for the last 24 years producing and supplying clay, gypsum, and other raw materials for glass production. The Company has completed 7 successful projects in the mining industry 4 of which where greenfield. The production has been exported to more than 10 countries, including countries in Europe, Asia, and the CIS countries. The Company has started a collaboration with customers in North America. In addition, the Company offers consulting services in the areas of deposit analysis, from exploration to the preparation of a business plan and project support.

CUCC’s plan is to hold a similar event next year at PDAC 2021.

All speakers presentations are available on the CUTIS Trade & Investment Portal