Shaft Sinkers has been chosen as the preferred bidder in a public tender for Kazchrome JSC in what would be the mine shaft contractor’s first contract in Kazakhstan. The project award, worth around US$75 million, is subject to the negotiation and conclusion of a contract scheduled to be completed by the end of September.

The contract will involve Shaft Sinkers creating the Skipovaya vertical shaft to gain access to the ferrochrome ore body at the Donskoy ore processing plant in the Aktujbinsk region of Kazakhstan. The work includes the sinking and lining of an 8 metre diameter skip shaft to a final depth of 1453 metres.

It is only Shaft Sinkers’ second contract outside South Africa, adding to its deal in India with Hindustan Zinc, owned by Vedanta Resources. The company has been looking to diversify away from its main market due to the widespread unrest that hit the country’s mining industry last year. Its traditional customers are the platinum miners that were at the heart of last year’s troubles.

“We are very pleased to be selected as the preferred bidder on this project as it is in line with our diversification strategy,” says Shaft Sinkers chief executive Alon Davidov. “This project introduces the group to a new client and country as well as increasing our commodity basket with ferrochrome.”

Kazchrome makes, supplies, and exports ferroalloys to steelmakers across the globe.

Shaft Sinkers Holdings specializes in the sinking of particularly deep and wide vertical and decline shafts and the development of underground infrastructure, used in mining and hydropower applications. It has the capability to sink shafts through all types of rock strata, including running sands and clay.