International "Astana Mining & Metallurgy" Congress
18-19 June 2020
Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan

Mining of bauxite and other aluminium ores increases by 26% on-year

Through last year, mining of aluminum ores increased by 26%, to 6.1 million tonnes. Kazakhstan Aluminium is the largest enterprise in the industry engaged in the extraction and enrichment of bauxite at the Torgai Bauxite Mine Administration and the Krasnooktyabrsky Bauxite Mine Administration in Kostanay region. This is the only company in Kazakhstan that produces alumina, which is a raw material for the production of aluminum. The company is a member of the Eurasian Resources Group.

In 2018, the volume of bauxite mining in the mining branches of Aluminium of Kazakhstan amounted to 5.7 million tonnes, with a 14% increase from a year earlier. The company noted that mining operations at the Torgai deposit, which accounts for 5% of bauxite mining, will be discontinued in 2021, and the process of eliminating the effects of mining and changing the structure of the enterprise will begin. Despite the fact that ore mining has increased, the production of untreated aluminum remains the previous level and even slightly decreased by 0.9%, to 1.8 million tonnes.

For comparison, in 2017, aluminum production increased by 1.5% on-year. 99.4% of the total production accounted for Pavlodar region at 1.7 million tonnes, less by 1.2% on-year, where one more ERG formation, Kazakhstan Electrolysis Plant, operates. It is the first and only producer of high-grade primary aluminum in Kazakhstan. Sales markets include Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, countries of South and Central Europe.

According to the parent company, ERG, the volume of alumina production in 2018 amounted to 1.5 million tonnes, the same as in 2017. The production of primary aluminum in 2018 increased to 258.4 thousand tonnes, which is a record figure in the entire history of the enterprise. For comparison, in 2017, the Kazakhstan Electrolysis Plant produced 254.9 thousand tonnes of primary aluminum, that is, the figure increased by 1.4% on-year. The increase in volume is due to the intensification of production on existing equipment, mainly due to an increase in the current strength on the high-current electrolysers used.

Investments aimed at maintaining the production capacity of Kazakhstan Aluminium in 2018 amounted to 35 billion tenge. The planned volume of investments in 2019, according to predicted estimates, will be about 24.9 billion tenge.

In January-November 2018, exports of alumina decreased in real terms by 2.7% on-year but increased by 5.2% in money terms. The key importer of aluminum oxide is Russia, where almost the entire volume of deliveries goes.

Sales of raw aluminum to foreign markets in 11 months of 2018 in physical terms increased by 11.4%, in money terms by 22.7%.

The main importers of aluminum are Turkey at 81.8 thousand tonnes, plus 98.9% on-year; worth $178.3 million, which is 2.2 times more than the year before; Russia at 44.7 thousand tonnes, minus 6.1% on-year; worth $95.4 million, 4.4% increase on-year; and Greece at 35.4 thousand tonnes, 37.6% less on-year; worth $76.9 million, with a decrease by 31.1% on-year.

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