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As the global mining industry continues to rebound after several sluggish years, international companies are looking to explore untapped reserves. Kazakhstan’s new subsoil code – based on that of the world’s leading jurisdiction of Western Australia – is helping to transform exploration, making mining regulation in Kazakhstan one of the most streamlined, progressive and transparent in the world.
Kazakhstan is one of the most resource rich countries globally; 99 of the 110 elements on the periodic table can be found within our soil. To make this fact more concrete, 90% of the rare earth metals found in a modern smart phone can be mined in Kazakhstan – this is a truly remarkable fact.
What is more, the World Bank estimates that there are over 5,000 unexplored deposits still present in Kazakhstan, valued at over $46 trillion. Advanced technology is central to our modern world – high frequency lasers, x-ray machines, electric vehicles, and advanced robotics are all heavily dependent on the rare earth metals that Kazakhstan can extract and process. These elements are essential to society’s future prosperity and progress.
Of course, Kazakhstan is already a major producer of zinc, chromium, copper, uranium and other minerals and many global mining firms already operate here successfully. Some of the most active include Glencore’s Kazzinc, the Eurasian Resources Group, London-listed Polymetal International, Aurora Minerals Group and explosives manufacturer Orica Ltd.
Despite these activities, Kazakhstan’s mining potential is still far from being fully realised. A recent McKinsey report estimated that because of our country’s vast deposits, there was space for over a dozen more multinational mining organisations to enter the market in the coming years.
Undoubtedly, it is not enough for companies to simply recognise the opportunities that are on offer, they also need to receive timely and impartial support when considering investing.
Kazakh Invest was established to meet such investor needs. We provide end-to-end support to overseas investors and businesses seeking to capitalise on Kazakhstan’s progressive, business-friendly environment. Our dedicated team of specialists offers timely and impartial advice on key investment projects across a range of national industries. We have international representatives in many of the world’s leading economic centres and act as a single point of contact for businesses setting up or investing in Kazakhstan.
Our support goes beyond simply providing advice. We assist businesses throughout the entire length of their investment journey. From economic and financial analysis, through to engagement with national and regional government. Our list of services is extensive and includes practical support on Kazakhstan’s tax and regulatory system, acquisition of property, hiring of local staff and establishing a local office.
As more and more mining firms look to expand their global operations, Kazakhstan will be viewed as the smart choice for forward-looking investors, according to Kazakh Invest Deputy CEO Marat Birimzhan
To meet the growing need for such high-value products, we have worked diligently with leading international experts to overhaul our mining code. The new subsoil code allows interested parties to bid in an open auction for mining rights. To help greatly improve locating fields where deposits are thought to exist, the new code also expands access to independent geological data.
Because of our global footprint, Kazakh Invest understands that the challenge facing mining companies is often stark.
Companies can continue to work in established but costly markets with dwindling reserves or explore new and untapped opportunities in frontier markets but face the challenge of navigating the complex web of red tape and bureaucracy.
In recognition of this situation, our government has taken bold and decisive steps to overhaul not just our country’s mining code but much of our country’s regulatory environment. This has not gone unnoticed. In the World Bank’s 2019 Doing Business Index, Kazakhstan climbed a further 8 places to 28th, leapfrogging many leading global economies including France, Poland, Turkey, the Netherlands and China. Over the last five years, Kazakhstan has climbed 25 places and is one of only a handful of countries globally to improve across all of the indicators since the report launched in 2004.
Our collective efforts are now paying dividends. Foreign direct investment in Kazakhstan has exceeded $12 billion in the last six months, compared to $10.5 billion during the same period in 2017. For our part, Kazakh Invest headed up a month-long series of investment roadshows in autumn 2018. These events alone secured more than half a billion dollars of investment deals.
Throughout 2018, Kazakh Invest hosted a series of investment events with heads of leading mining orientated organisations including Metalysis, Polymetal, JP Morgan, Central Asia Metals, Rothschild Capital Group and VSA Capital. At an event in London in October, more than 500 business executives explored opportunities for investment in Kazakhstan and learned about our progressive mining policies.
Undoubtedly, as more and more mining firms look to expand their global operations, Kazakhstan will be viewed as the smart choice for forward-looking investors.