International "Astana Mining & Metallurgy" Congress
16-17 June 2021
Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan

RESULTS OF ONLINE CONFERENCE: New realities of the mining and metallurgical industry of Kazakhstan

On October 14 and 15, 2020, for the first time, the largest industry conference Kazakhstan Mining Online Conference and Workshops: new realities of the mining and metallurgical complex took place in an online format for a wide audience of the Kazakhstan International Mining & Metals Central Asia Exhibition and the International Mining and Metallurgical Congress Astana Mining & Metallurgy.

The online conference was devoted to discussing the further development of the mining and metallurgical industry, selected development strategies, exchange of experience and a detailed study of an environmentally friendly approach to waste disposal and innovative solutions for tailings. During two days of its work, the online conference proved to be an effective platform for constructive dialogue, open discussion of current industry issues and strengthening business ties between Kazakhstani and foreign representatives of the industry.

On October 14th, a plenary session was held to review and forecast the current state of the industry in Kazakhstan and the world, discuss post-pandemic development strategies and prospects of international cooperation. Representatives of the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Republican Association of Mining and Mining and Metallurgical Enterprises (AGMP) spoke about further plans for the development of mining and metallurgical enterprises in Kazakhstan in a new reality, and speakers of foreign companies shared international experience and practical cases on building their work.

The Chairman of the Committee for Industrial Development and Industrial Safety M.K. Karabayev noted, in his speech, that about 40 leading mining companies in Kazakhstan have a good chance of coping with the shocks from the pandemic, which is facilitated by the timely support of the state during the pandemic period, successful activities in the past 2019 and significant capital investments in the industry.

“The Kazakhstani MMC has managed to adapt to new realities and is steadily moving towards modernization in new realities, the use of the latest technological innovations and digital solutions. Thanks to competent management, in general, it was possible to prevent a sharp decline in production volumes, to preserve jobs and continue the implementation of investment projects "almost in full", - summed up Mr. Karabayev. In his speech at the plenary session of the online conference, the Executive Director of the AGMP Radostovets N.V. also stressed that in the difficult conditions of the pandemic, mining enterprises have maintained stability and did not allow a decrease in production volumes. Much credit for this belongs to the Government, public associations and, undoubtedly, to the leaders and employees of companies, trade unions. As the speakers noted, at the end of the third quarter of this year, the industry does not show a decline and remains at the level of 2019, which is a positive indicator during a pandemic. Director of the Department of Trade and Investment of the British Embassy Edmund Marler, the specialist in global cooperation in the mining sector of the UK Department of International Trade (DIT) Rose Land, Senior Adviser for Trade and Business Development of the Canadian Embassy in Kazakhstan Nathan Leesons and the Managing Director of Arch Emerging Markets Partners Amanda Van Dyck also addressed a plenary meeting.

International experts shared their vision of further cooperation with Kazakhstan in mining in the post-covid time, and Amanda Van Dyck, as a representative of the investment sector, told how things are with the investment plans of companies today and what, first of all, investors pay attention to.

All the speakers of the conference noted in their reports that the Kazakh mining industry has managed to maintain stability, jobs and continues its further development, which is a positive factor, given the importance of the mining and metallurgical industry for the economy of Kazakhstan, as one of its leading flagships.

Particular attention of the audience was drawn to the Round Table on Ecology in a question-answer format on the topic: “Implementation of the best available technologies in MMC companies: questions and answers”. The pandemic has forced many businesses to quickly address the issue with the latest technology and digital solutions. And the draft Environmental Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan, which is of great importance for many sectors of the economy, including the mining and metallurgical complex, which is planned to be adopted by the end of this year, only adds topics for discussion to the mining and metallurgical complex community. The focus of the environmental reform is on obtaining integrated environmental permits by enterprises through the implementation of the best available technologies (BAT). What innovations are expected by mining enterprises with the introduction of the environmental bill, what problems and risks they may face during the implementation of BAT - these and other issues were discussed at the Round Table.

According to the executive director of the Republican Association of Mining and Metallurgical Enterprises Maxim Kononov, the introduction of the best available technologies will require significant investments, therefore, enterprises need to provide incentive measures, possibly through tax legislation or through investment agreements, especially since the country is currently working on a mechanism of investment agreements in a new format. The AGMP’s position on the need to take incentive measures when introducing BAT was supported by the Executive Director of the EcoJer Association Kuanysh Baltabaev.

He recalled that the economy of Kazakhstan is energy-intensive, it is characterized by large-scale production in such sectors as oil, gas, and mining. Therefore, it will be difficult for Kazakhstan without additional incentive measures to fully implement the principles of the OECD countries, to which the Environmental Code is oriented. K. Baltabaev also expressed the opinion about the need to refer not only to European experience, but also to the experience of other countries, for example, the Republic of Korea, China, whose metallurgical industries have many common features in terms of business processes, technical, technological solutions, etc. During the discussion, participants of the Round Table not only exchanged views, but also answered questions from the audience.

During two days of their work, round tables, organized by the Partners of the event, gathered a wide audience, consisting of domestic subsoil users, the largest companies operating in the mining and metallurgical sector.
The Golden partner of Kazakhstan Mining Online Conference and Workshops - the Department of International Trade of Great Britain in Kazakhstan (DIT) - successfully held two sessions in the format of the Round Table:

  • on October 14th - "Management of tailing dumps",
  • on October 15th - “Waste management/From waste to incomes”.

Roundtables were held with the participation of leading UK companies which offered innovative solutions for tailings and waste management in the mining industry. The speakers shared their experience in Kazakhstani projects and other large fields.

On October 15, the Golden partner of the Kazakhstan Mining Online Conference and Workshops - the Embassy of Canada in the Republic of Kazakhstan organized an online mission for Canadian companies. The companies from the following provinces of Canada took place in the mission: Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, British Columbia. Canadian companies and experts made a series of presentations, during which they introduced the audience to their products and the latest technologies for the mining sector in Kazakhstan. Participating companies: Black Powder Solutions, Inmarsat, Generation2Filtration, Gravity Mining, HARD LINE, Knight Piesold, Maelgwyn, McKinsey, Mine Environment Management, Motion Metrics, Napier Meridian, One Eye Industries, Patterson Cook, Polycorp Ltd., Satellite Applications Catapult, SightPower Inc., Spottitt, ThreeDify Inc., Waterhound Futures, and Wenco International Mining Systems.
We can say with confidence that the Round Tables with the participation of leading British and Canadian companies contributed to closer fruitful cooperation between Kazakhstan, Canada and the UK in the mining industry.

During the two days of the online conference, significant emphasis was placed on the application of green economy approaches. In Kazakhstan, integration into the planning process of environmental and natural resources management will have a significant impact on economic growth in the future. In this regard, the issues of investment into sustainable “green” growth come to the fore. The Kazakhstan Mining Online Conference and Workshops brought together 615 listeners, 32 speakers and 5 business sections within one event.

The Kazzinc LLP, Department for International Trade UK, Embassy of Canada to the Republic of Kazakhstan, Micromine, and MICROMINE Central Asia were the conference partners. The conference was officially supported by the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Association of Legal Entities “Republican Association of Mining and Metallurgical Enterprises” (AGMP), Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs.

The organizer of the online-conference was the Iteca Kazakhstan Exhibition Company.

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