Tajik parliamentarians have endorsed an investment agreement on handing Chinese company rights to develop a silver deposit in the Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO).

A regular sitting of the Majlisi Namoyandagon (Tajikistan’s lower chamber of parliament), presided over by its head, Shukurjon Zuhurov, was held on October 1. 

Majlisi Namoyandagon members endorsed an agreement on handing rights to develop the Akjilga silver deposit situated in GBAO’s Murgab district to China’s Kashgar Xinyu Dadi Mining Investment, according to the Majlisi Namoyandagon press center.  

Recall, the Tajik Government, represented by the State Committee on Investment and State-owned Property Management (GosKomInvest), and China’s Kashgar Xinyu Dadi Mining Investment signed an investment agreement on development of the Akjilga silver deposit on June 14 in Kulob on the sidelines of an international investment forum.  

According to the Main Geology Directorate under the Government of Tajikistan, the State Reserve Commission has estimated the Akjilga deposit’s possible reserves of silver at 204.92 tons.  Experts say one ton of the Akjilga deposit’s ore contains 640 grams of silver.

Under the S1 category, the reserves of Akjilga deposit are estimated at 113.14 tons and one ton of its ore contains 791 grams of silver, while under the S2 category, the reserves of the Akjilga deposit are estimated at 93.34 tons and one ton of its ore contain 488 grams of silver.    

The Akjilga deposit was previously being explored by Kazakhstan-based C.A. Minerals. 

Some media outlets, citing Tajik government sources, say the grant appears to relate to the stalled project to build a new parliament and government complex in Dushanbe at a cost of an estimated 350 million U.S. dollars.

Experts attribute almost monopoly position of China in Tajikistan’s mining sector to despair and lack of other investors.  At the same time, they do not exclude risks that may occur in the future.