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East Kazakhstan region enhancing geological exploration

The Minister of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources Magzum Mirzagaliyev, during his working trip to East Kazakhstan region, held a meeting on the development of the mineral resource base of the region, the Kapital.kz business information center reports with reference to the press service of the Minister.

“Almost all types of minerals are represented in the region. Large reserves of gold, silver, copper, zinc, lead, titanium, barite and groundwater are concentrated in East Kazakhstan. Mineral reserves in the region remain for 17-20 years, so now it is necessary to increase the volume of geological exploration. In this direction, it is important to apply modern technologies and create favorable conditions for investors, this will allow achieving significant results. Additionally, we are to involve the younger generation in the field of geology. For this reason, Kazgeology is going to establish cooperation with higher educational institutions of East Kazakhstan region”, - said Magzum Mirzagaliyev during the meeting.

The head of the region Danial Akhmetov paid special attention to reducing the reserves of the mineral resource base of the region.

“Geological exploration determines the potential and prospects of the regional metallurgical industry not only for the near term, but also for 10-15 years ahead. Large enterprises of settlements provide social support not only to workers, but also to the local population. Therefore, we pay special attention to measures in this direction, as they directly affect the socio-economic state of the region,” said Danial Akhmetov.

The Vice Minister of Ecology Serikkali Brekeshev noted that the mining and processing industry is a driver of the regional socio-economic development, and also highlighted the need to increase the amount of funding for this industry.

“According to the data of the Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources, there are 39 copper deposits on the state balance in East Kazakhstan region, 30 - lead, 34 - zinc, 122 - gold, 48 - silver, 11 - tin. For the period from 2011 to 2019, about KZT2.7 trillion of private investment was attracted to the subsoil use of the region, only KZT71.4 billion was directed directly to the prospecting, which does not exceed 3% of the total financial costs,” said the Vice -Minister.  

Director General of Kazakhmys Barlau LLP Galym Nurzhanov informed of the development of 3 promising projects in East Kazakhstan region.

“One of them is the Aidarly project, which was previously classified as low grade deposits. The deposit is one of the largest in the world with no mining operations. However, today, as a result of changes in metal prices and an increase in the world copper market, this facility is economically attractive, in this respect we have started full-scale verification drilling this year, and since the beginning of this year, we have already invested more than KZT1 billion. According to preliminary estimates, the reserves of the Aidarly deposit amount to 4.3 billion tons of ore, or about 15 million tons of copper,” the head of the enterprise said.

The Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources has developed the State Geological Exploration Program for a five-year period. The works in East Kazakhstan region and in the region of single-industry towns are of particular importance. In East Kazakhstan region, regional works of two hundred thousandth scale are expected, including geological and mineragenic mapping on an area of 27.900 square km, additional geological exploration on the area of 6.800 square km and deep geological mapping on an area of 27.200 square km.

Prospecting work for rare metals is expected at the Kara-Ayak, Muncha deposits, as well as studying major minerals (gold, copper, polymetals) at other deposits.  

Following the meeting, it was agreed on creating a Working Group on enhancing geological exploration, attracting additional funds. That will include scientists, company representatives and officials.