The Main Professional Mining and Metallurgical Forum in Central Asia
On 17-19 September, Almaty hosted the 9th MiningWorld Central Asia 2003, a Central Asian international exhibition organised by ITE Group PLC (UK) and ITECA (Central Asia and the Caucasus). The event’s programme included the 2nd Central Asian Mining, Production and Mining Equipment conference. The main professional forum for mining and metallurgy specialists from Kazakhstan was given a new name, MiningWorld Central Asia, which underlines its importance to all Central Asian countries. Its international status has been confirmed by the increasing number of foreign companies participating in it.
The exhibition at MiningWorld Central Asia 2003 included sections dedicated to opencast and underground operations, metal extraction, melting and refining, ore-dressing, geological exploration, transportation of loose materials and environmental protection technology. The participants included 190 companies from 17 countries including Belarus, the UK, Germany, India, Kazakhstan, China and Russia. The number of participants increased by 40% and display area by 20% compared with the previous year. National exhibition stands were presented by Italy, Poland, Turkey and Finland. The general sponsor of MiningWorld Central Asia 2003 was Bogatyr Access Komir, a coal mining company. Other sponsors were Grata Law Firm, Belaz Service Balkhash, Komatsu Ltd. and Metso Minerals.
Official support for the exhibition was provided by the Kazakh Ministries of Industry and Trade and Environmental Protection, the Committee for Geology and Mineral Resource Protection under Kazakh Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, the Uzbek Agency for Geology and Mineral Resources, the Committee for Geology and Natural Resources of the Kyrgyz Government and the Tajik Committee for Geology and Mineral Resources.
The MiningWorld Central Asia 2003 conference was attended by over 40 speakers and about 150 delegates. The programme of this two-day event was devoted to the comprehensive processing of mineral raw materials in the region and hydrometallurgical processes.
Bulat Uzhkenov, Chairman of the Committee for Geology and Mineral Resource Protection, addressed the audience, elaborating on issues of mineral extraction and processing. He argued that the wide application of obsolete technology in the mining sector is rendering the utilisation of mineral raw materials highly inefficient. The main obstacles in the way of modernising production assets are the unfavourable price situation on the international market which has persisted for several years, and the increased tax burden of domestic companies. According to Kazakh tax law, royalties are calculated on the basis of the volume of mineral reserves or the first commercial product developed from the actual mineral output, a method which does not stimulate efficient and comprehensive utilisation of mineral resources. Under these conditions a proportion of the minerals is lost permanently, and any by-products contained in the ore produced are wasted. Uzhkenov maintains that royalties should be calculated on the basis of deposit depletion rather than the quantity of the first commercial product. At the same time, in order to encourage the processing of subeconomic resources and industrial waste, mining companies should be given incentives such as exemrtion or reduced rate royalties.
The legal aspects of mineral processing were also addressed in a speech by Abylkhair Nakipov, partner at Grata Law Firm. In his opinion, these issues are currently regulated in a rather superficial manner. The mining law provides only a general definition of mineral processing and this process is not classed along with production operations. According to the mining licensing laws, mineral processing is subject to licensing on a common basis. In this connection Nakipov believes it necessary to adopt a detailed act to govern mineral processing in full.
On the whole, the delegates agreed that government control should function as a vehicle to enforce monitoring of the use of mineral resources which are written off of the state balance.
Environmental problems are becoming more and more topical. In her address devoted to the EBRD’s principles, co-operation strategy and investments in the mining and metallurgical industries in Kazakhstan and Central Asia, Susan Gabori, Principal Banker at EBRD, elaborated on the Bank’s experience in financing projects aimed at improving the environmental situation at mining sites. In particular, she spoke about the loans granted to the Kazakhmys corporation for modernising its metallurgical facilities and introducing environmentally safe methods of ore extraction and processing at the Kumtor deposit in Kyrgyzstan.
The main part of the conference was devoted to new technology for the comprehensive processing of mineral raw materials. The President of Altyn Aimak told the audience about a test production plant introduced by the company for bacterial leaching of arsenic ores, and the General Manager of Alel shared the experience of using the heap leaching method for oxidised ores in Kazakhstan. According to him, this technique allows the gold extraction ratio to be increased to 90%, which is the best result ever achieved in the country.
Address by Dennis C. Price, Director General of Bogatyr Access Komir, stirred lively interest in the audience; he spoke about quality management in a mining company.
Specialised round tables were organised with the object of familiarising potential investors with existing investment opportunities. However, participants in these round tables also discussed other issues such as the current state and outlook for the nickel and cobalt sector, problems in dressing ore from gravel deposits, quality management and environmental problems in the mining, metallurgical and chemical industries.
The forum was attended by representatives of Kazzinc, Bogatyr Access Komir, Altyn Aimak, Celtic Resources, Dank and many others.
The results of the conference proved once again that international forums at such a level provide an excellent opportunity for the participants to discuss strategy, make new contacts, give presentations of their projects and companies and find potential investors.
The 10th jubilee Central Asian exhibition and MiningWorld Central Asia 2004 is scheduled for 15-17 September 2004 in Almaty.
Innovative Strategy for Industrial Development in Kazakhstan: the First Phase Adilbek Dzhaksybekov
Karachaganak’s Day Has Come Boris Zilbermints
TSC Group Corporation: High Business Technology Baurzhan Ospanov
Quality Management at Bogatyr Access Komir Dennis C. Price
Developing Law for Nature Resources Use in Kazakhstan in the Context of Industrial Development Gulsara Edilbaeva
Recent Developments of Regulatory Framework of Doing Business in Kazakhstan Aigoul Kenjebayeva, Yuliya Mitrofanskaya
New Land Code is the Centerpiece of Agriculture Reform in Kazakhstan Zhaniya B. Ussen, Zarina S. Umerbayeva