Geological exploration and gold production gain momentum in Kazakhstan
Iranian companies are ready to invest nearly $30 million in exploration in Kazakhstan. The funds will be utilized to explore porphyry copper deposits in Kazakhstan. Six promising sites have been selected in Karaganda region, Kazgeology says. In addition, Saudi Arabia is investing in Kazakhstan’s geological exploration. One of the foreign corporations intends to invest $50 million in projects on exploration and development of deposits of base and precious metals, including zinc, silver and gold. Precious metal production is growing in Kazakhstan. The country produced 75 tons of raw gold last year. The figure is a landmark outlined by the Kazakh President a few years ago. In 2005, Kazakh mining enterprises produced 57 tons of gold. Two years ago, the National Bank purchased about 30 tons of refined pure gold from domestic manufacturers. In 2016, this figure reached 37 tons. An increasing number of Kazakhstan’s jewelry manufacturers purchase finished gold. Astana gold refinery produces small bars especially for the jewelers; they are cheaper than the ordinary 12-kilogram "bricks".
ALBERT RAU, FIRST KAZAKH VICE MINISTER OF INVESTMENTS AND DEVELOPMENT:
In 2016, Astana gold refinery ‘Tau ken Altyn’ processed 12 tons of gold that was purchased by Kazakhstan’s National Bank. However, we as the Ministry agreed with the National Bank to receive some 150 kilograms of gold for sale. We plan to get around 200 kilograms next year. In case of higher demand we will increase the quota.
Meanwhile, export of precious metals gains momentum. For example, Akmola region exports gold and uranium. The region’s mining industry is developing rapidly. In 2016, gold production exceeded the planned volumes and amounted to nearly 24 tons.