The deposit was discovered in 1963 and it has been developed intermittently in the years since. An underground mine was constructed between 1980 and 1984. In 1986 Shalkiya RU began production, mining approximately 2Mt of ore until poor economic conditions forced closure in 1994. Between 1980 and 1993 an estimated US$250M had been spent on mine development and infrastructure. In 1999, Shalkiya RU was declared bankrupt.