Kazakhstan’s mining and metallurgical industry stands at a pivotal juncture, where attracting foreign investment and embracing cutting-edge technologies are paramount for sustaining its competitive edge. Currently, a significant portion of mined metals in Kazakhstan undergoes processing outside the country. To address this, the “Kazcontent 2.0″ initiative has been introduced, focusing on localising production, cultivating industrial hubs, and establishing technology parks.The Kazakh government plans to revise laws to increase metal ore processing from under 20% to 50% by 2036. This strategy is expected to invigorate the manufacturing sector, decrease raw material and primary metal exports, and enhance revenue from higher-value products. The plenary session will highlight the Kazakh Government’s, investors’, and subsoil users’ strategies for enhancing local production capacities, particularly in electronics, automotive, polymers, electric batteries, and other components. This approach is intended to foster local industrial growth and create higher-value products by processing mineral raw materials within the country.
Kazakhstan’s strategic position and rich natural resources are key attractions for foreign direct investment (FDI) in its mining and metallurgical industry. Legal reforms, particularly in subsoil use, have opened doors for new investors. The nation’s shift to CRIRSCO (KazRC) international standards is set to further attract FDI.The uranium and critical materials are becoming the “new oil” enabling the transition to a green economy. However, the production of these materials in Kazakhstan will require investments and long-term commitments on the part of the state, subsoil users, investors, and local governments. What advantages does Kazakhstan offer to foreign investorsto develop exploration, production, and processing projects? What opportunities does the national financial market offer to mining and exploration companies? How has the increase in mineral extraction tax rates affected the industry and its investment attractiveness as a whole? The session will explore experiences and perspectives from both Kazakh and international companies involved in mining projects within the country.
Kazakhstan is implementing new strategies to enhance geological prospecting and develop tailings, vital for the mining industry’s sustainable growth and the country’s economic security. The discovery of new mineral deposits is crucial for attracting investments. By 2026, Kazakhstan aims to extend its geologically explored territory to 2 million square kilometres, focusing on the exploration of rare and rare-earth metals. However, experts suggest that the 2018 geological legislation isn’t fully effective, prompting the government to take urgent steps to revamp the mining sector’s management. Recognising the potential in tailings, the government is also looking to capitalise on this resource. To facilitate these initiatives, there is a need for a concerted effort to bolster the sector’s growth and secure long-term economic benefits.
In Central Asia, and specifically in Kazakhstan, mining industry faces the urgent need to adopt climate change strategies due to the region’s accelerated warming rate. The Harvard University researchpaper highlights the importance of energy diversification in tackling climate change and catering to the increasing energy demands. For mining companies, energy expenses represent about 30% of their total operational costs. Implementing efficient energy management can lead to significant reductions in energy usage, with potential savings of 15-20% at existing facilities and up to 50% for new mine designs. Encouraging investment in clean energy necessitates a commitment to long-term planning. The challenge of addressing these issues effectively lies in the collaboration between mining companies, legislative bodies, and state regulators, ensuring a coordinated approach towards sustainable energy use and climate change mitigation in the mining sector.
The shift from hydrocarbons to renewable energy sources globally has significantly fostered international collaboration in the exploration, production, processing, and establishment of supply chains for uranium and other critical raw materials crucial for green energy technologies like electric batteries, solar panels, wind turbines, and micro-hydro systems. This session will explore the expansion of Kazakhstan’s international relations, particularly in the context of partnership programs with major global players such as the European Union, the United States, Canada, France, the United Kingdom and other countries. The focus will be on developing robust global supply chains for uranium and other critical raw materials from the landlocked Kazakhstan.
Groundwater is crucial to support socio-economic development in Central Asian countries. Water is widely used in both underground and surface mining: about 40% in ore processing, about 40% in tailings dams and about 20% in dust control. A 2022 World Bank study warns that Central Asia is warming faster than the global average, accelerating the melting of glaciers – a vital source of water for households, agriculture, energy production and mining. In response to this challenge, the Government of Kazakhstan has formulated a Comprehensive Plan for the Development of the Water Sector spanning from 2024 to 2030. This plan is aimed at bolstering the country’s water security and addressing water scarcity issues. Experts will be focusing on the development of comprehensive water management programs essential for maintaining the sustainability of mining and processing industries in the region.