|First gold produced at China-run Tajikistan mine: media
A Chinese-run gold mine in ex-Soviet Tajikistan has produced its first gold, Tajik state media reported Monday.
Tajik state television showed footage of Tajikistan's President Emomali Rakhmon clutching two gold ingots produced at the Pokrud gold mine and announced investments totaling $256 million at the mine to date.
The mine operated by the Pokrud Chinese-Tajik joint venture is expected to produce around 1.3 tons of gold per year initially, with production rising to 2 tons per year later, the TV report said.
The mineral concession just south of the capital Dushanbe is one of several operated by Chinese companies.
For example, Chinese gold producer Zijin Mining operates the Zarafshan concession in the north of the country and expects to produce 5 tons of gold there annually in the coming years.
Tajikistan, a landlocked country of more than 8 million people that borders both China and Afghanistan,? lacks foreign investment and looks to China to help prop up the domestic economy.
Also, the country is included in the "One Belt, One Road" initiative.
Remittances from more than 1 million nationals working in Russia have fallen sharply on the back of a financial crisis prompted by Western sanctions against Moscow and falling oil prices.