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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Eastern Rare Metals Industrial Combined Works
Chkalovsk, Tajikistan

    Chkalovsk: see QistaqUz   PPL   4011'55"N   6948'36"E
    Chkalovsk                 PPL   4014'19"N   6941'48"E
    Khodzhent: see Ghafurov   PPL   4013'04"N   6943'30"E
    Khodzhent: see Qayraqqum  PPL   4015'53"N   6947'22"E
    Khodzhent: see Khujand    PPLA  4016'48"N   6937'54"E
    Industrial Association "Eastern Combine for Rare-Earth Metals" 
    IA "Vostokredmet" 
    Leninabad Mining and Chemical Combine (until 1992)

The Industrial Association "Eastern Combine for Rare Metals" (IA "Vostokredmet") was established on the basis of the Leninabad Mining and Chemical Combine which is situated in Khodjent district of Tajikistan.

The Association includes an Hydrometallurgical processes (HMP) plant, an engineering plant, research laboratories of chemical processes and automated management systems, an instrumentation and automatic equipment laboratory, a geological maintenance and repair shop and a construction and mounting department. The IA "Vostokredmet" is one of the leading enterprises in the field of underground and heap leaching of metals.

The combine was established in 1945 as a large-scale uranium mining enterprise on the basis of uranium deposits situated in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. As the country's first raw materials base, the Combine incorporated seven mines and five plants, including plant V with a hydrometallurgical shop and the Tabashar, Adrasman, Mailisui, Uigur and Tyuya-Muyun mines.

The settlement of Chkalovsk was built 10 km apart of the city Khodzhent (Leninabad). Later the Combine's basic HMP was built in Chkalovsk to process uranium ores from the different deposits. A pilot hydrometallurgical shop in Tabashary (40 km away from Chkalovsk) was reconstructed to a pilot HMP where ores from the Meilisui, Uigur, Adrasman and other deposits have been processed in addition to the Tabashary ores.

The western part of the Fergana Valley is one of the most picturesque areas of Central Asia. Divided between Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan, the Fergana Valley is one of the most densely populated agricultural and industrial areas in central Asia, with important oil, coal, natural gas, and iron deposits.

Underneath Tajikistan's ever-present mountains lie a wide array of natural resources, many of which have not yet been exploited because of their geographical location or geological depth. For its size, Tajikistan is relatively blessed with silver and gold deposits. Total silver ore deposits are estimated at 60,000 tons and the largest, in Bolshoi Kanemansur, is around 38,000 tons. There are more than 30 known gold deposits, of which only a few have been prospected. Several potentially important coal deposits have been identified but have not yet been exploited. May of the mineral deposits are suitable for relatively inexpensive open-pit mining, but they are found in mountainous regions where extreme weather conditions prevail and transportation routes are difficult or non-existent. A large antimony deposit has been discovered in the Khovland district southeast of Dushanbe.

Tajikistan has suffered from severe security problems since gaining independence. Tajikistan borders on Afghanistan, which currently shelters Usama bin Laden and serves as the base of his terrorist network. The continued instability in Afghanistan has adversely affected the security situation in those Central Asian countries which border it, including Tajikistan. Rebels attacked government troops early on 04 November 1998 in a fight for control of the airport at Chkalovsk. They also seized key administrative buildings in Khudjand, several kilometers away.

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