VI International Mining and Metallurgy Congress and Exhibition “Astana Mining & Metallurgy” - AMM-2016 was held on June 15-16 in Astana.

The main theme of AMM-2016 was new technologies and approaches in the mining and metallurgical industry on the road to further diversification of MMC in the country and the world. During two days of the meetings at the highest level the plans and prospects for development of the industry were discussed. One of the important events of the Congress was admission of Kazakhstan to be a member of CRIRSCO International Reporting Standards Committee. According to the Chairman of CRIRSCO Harry Parker, this will make easier the process of communication between stakeholders - government and investors in terms of the quality of assets that require investments. Roger Dixon, a member of the Committee of SAMREC/SAMVAL added that obtaining a code by KAZRC and joining the organization provides a great opportunity for Kazakhstan’s MMC - the majority of country organizations in the CRIRSCO system are recognized as local and international stock exchanges, including London Stock Exchange.

First Deputy Prime Minister Bakhytzhan Sagintayev opened VII International Mining and Metallurgy Congress. He said that this sector of the economy is crucial for our country. Only 300 thousand people work in the enterprises of the industry. MMC provides a multiplier effect for the development of related industries, greatly increases employment and thereby ensures the competitiveness of the economy as a whole.

During his speech at the Plenary Session of VII International Mining and Metallurgy Congress “Astana Mining & Metallurgy” the Minister of Investments and Development Asset Issekeshev marked the positive outlook for the industry: “By the end of 2016 we expect minimum 2 % growth in industrial metallurgy, in metal ore mining - 5%”.

Also, a momentous event of the Congress was the signing of two memoranda. The Chairman of the Board of “Kazgeology” JSC Galym Nurzhanov and the CEO of Polymetal International Vitaly Nesis signed a document for joint implementation of search and exploration of precious and base metals in the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The Executive Director of “Kazzinc” Vladimir Benes and the Chairman of the Board of “Kazgeology” JSC Galym Nurzhanov signed a memorandum for joint implementation of search and exploration of polymetallic ores in Kazakhstan.

Galym Nurzhanov highlighted that though due to the crisis we had to wind down many projects, and leave only the most promising, all foreign partners of “Kazgeology” JSC in 2015 began full-scale exploration works and confirmed their investment plans in Kazakhstan for future years in full. High hopes of the representatives of MMC for the development of the industry and strengthening of relations with foreign partners are associated with the 25th World Mining Congress to be held in 2018 in Astana.

According to the Vice Minister of Investments and Development Albert Rau, in future the trend of increase in demand for non-ferrous metallurgy is expected. For example, for copper and aluminum. In addition, the requirements for environmental credentials of production and energy efficiency will increase.

Hot discussions took place at the round table dedicated to the reforms in subsoil use. As Nikolai Radostovets, Executive Director of AMME (Republican Association of Mining and Metallurgical Enterprises) mentioned earlier, Kazakhstan with its resources is among top ten world’s powerful countries with the developed mining and metallurgical complex. Almost all elements in Mendeleyev’s Periodic Table, including rare earth metals can be found in the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan. For that very reason, two years ago upon the recommendation of the World Bank and other international organizations the development of the comprehensive Subsoil Use Code was started. In the current Code most of the rights and obligations of subsoil users are poorly specified and the procedures for resolving disputes are not clear.

The most optimistic view of the development of the industry was proposed by the CEO of ERG Benedikt Sobotka. In his speech, he proposed ready-made scenarios and solutions for structural, financial and strategic changes in the industry enterprises. ERG showed, based on its own case studies, that even MMC companies can quickly readjust and move in new directions. This flexibility became possible due to the introduction of multi-scenario financial modeling.

Vitaly Nesis, Chief Executive Officer of Polymetal International:

“Undoubtedly, Kazakhstan’s potential is huge. And above all, that is due to the favorable geological conditions, and the vast territory of the country has not been explored yet, the probability of finding high-quality new deposits is very high. And for players with long-term strategic plans Kazakhstan is a very attractive place. We are not an exception”.

VI International Mining and Metallurgy Congress was attended by more than 960 delegates from 23 countries of the world. 56 companies presented their stands at “Astana Mining & Metallurgy” Exhibition.

Overall, despite a number of serious challenges of the new economic reality, the delegates of the Congress took a favourable view of the prospects of the industry and by the end of this year small but sustainable growth indicators are expected.

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