According to international media reports, Uzbekistan expects to increase its gold reserves to 430 tonnes between 2020 and 2024 as the country looks to develop its domestic gold deposits. The reports said that purchase could start this year as the central bank plans to buy 81.37 tonnes of gold.
The increase in gold reserves is part of the plan announced by the State Committee on Geology and Mineral Resources in its draft concept of the development of the geological industry of Uzbekistan for 2020-2024.
According to the development plan, the country will spend $230 million in exploration and development of new gold deposits. According to production numbers from 2017, Uzbekistan is the world’s ninth-largest gold producer and has the eighth-largest gold reserves.
The government’s geology department has identified 97 gold and silver deposits.
The government’s long-term plan would be a significant increase in its gold reserves. In its latest report, as of Jan. 1, the Central Bank of Uzbekistan said that is current gold reserves are valued at $14.64 billion.
Uzbekistan’s plan comes after central banks bought gold at the fastest pace since in 50 years, according to the 2018 data from the World Gold Council. According to the WGC, last year central banks bought 651.5 tonnes of gold.
If Uzbekistan meets its five-year target, the central bank’s reserves would be the twelfth largest in the world, just behind the European Central Bank’s official reserves of 504 tonnes.
By Neils Christensen
For Kitco News