From May this year the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies will begin registering applications for the new subsoil use licences

April 20, 2013

Presenting at the MINEX Central Asia Forum, Mr Asset Issekeshev, Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, Minister of Industry and New Technologies announced that from May 2013 the Ministry will begin sale by public auction of the subsoil use rights.

In accordance with Article 46 of the Law on Subsoil and Subsoil Use, the competent authority (Ministry of Industry and New Technologies of Kazakhstan) will create the list of subsoil sites for sale by the public auction. The list is formed by the Committee of Geology and Subsoil use of the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies -­the authorised body for managing the subsoil resources of Kazakhstan. During the preparation for the auction, investors are encouraged to submit proposals on potential sale of sites which they consider to be attractive for future exploration and investment. Applications can be submitted in a free format and will be considered in the preparation of the auction.

Speaking in general about the development in the geological sphere, Deputy Prime Minister noted that the Government attention will be focused on the five aspects, namely improvement of the investment climate, development of human resources, development of geological infrastructure. “The work is under way on the creation of state of the art geological research centre, which will contain a range of essential laboratories” – said the Deputy Prime Minister.

The fourth aspect is the introduction of the international reporting standards of reserves and resources, as well as provision of access to the geological data. “We have already started this work. For a number of procedures we have reduced the time from 200 to 40 days. But our goal is to achieve the best international standards and introduce the best international practices”-­ said Asset Issekeshev.

He also informed that the government is planning to increase budget funding of public and quasi-­‐public investment in the exploration and mining sector. “In addition, various economic stimuli for investors are being discussed which will enable extensive range of financial sources for the development of the geological industry. Initially the financing will be provided via public-­private partnership investments”. This is the fifth key area for the development of the geology industry the Government will concentrate on – stated Deputy Prime Minister.

“The state will be represented by the national companies and will work within their strategies for exploration. In this case, the main emphasis will be placed on partners and investors. We are interested in the investments and technology and intend to take all appropriate measures to ensure that number of the new geological and mining projects are established by the end of this year”- said Asset Issekeshev.

The moratorium on issuing new mineral exploration licences removed by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan should be beneficial for the organisation of the sale by the public auction of the subsoil use rights. Deputy Prime Minister is certain that the lifting of the ban is a significant moment for investors and potential subsurface users. The public auction is expected to take a place this year.

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