Australian companies see potential in Kazakhstan mining

Sep 30. Mining Weekly

By Esmarie Swanepoel

Australian companies see potential in Kazakhstan miningAustralia has started a series of mining missions to Kazakhstan, which it sees as a “high-potential” nation.

This was the first time in more than a decade that such an outreach programme had been initiated, said Australian Trade (Austrade) senior trade commissioner for Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, Dan Tebbutt.

Tebbutt noted that Australian’s mining mission to Kazakhstan was the second in just three months – and the first joint Austrade/Austmine mission – reflecting growing industry interest in this emerging mining market.

“Kazakhstan’s economy is larger than those of all the other Central Asian states and it possesses 15% of the world’s uranium reserves, 8% of its zinc, 7% of the world’s manganese and 4% of the iron-ore. Kazakhstan also ranks in the top ten countries for coal, oil and gas, chrome, zinc and bauxite reserves,” said Tebbutt.

Kazakhstan’s resources sector is focused on increasing productivity, reducing environmental impact and improving community welfare, but it still has a way to go to realise its full potential, said Tebutt.

“This is where Australia’s contribution as an acknowledged global leader in mining technology and innovation could really support the expansion and development of Kazakhstan’s vast resources industry.”

Mining and equipment services export association Austmine’s executive officer Robert Trzebski said the joint Austrade/Austmine mining mission provided Australian participants with high-level access to major Kazakh mining companies, decision-makers in the Kazakhstan government and local distributors, agents and experts.

“More than 12 Austmine member companies participated in the Mining World Central Asia exhibition in Kazakhstan,” said Trzebski.

“Nine went on to participate in a three-city mission that included a site visit to a zinc/lead mine in Ust-Kamenogorsk, meetings with major mining houses and a visit to the National Mining Institute.”

Participants included Russell Mineral Equipment, processing-technology specialists Ludowici, metallurgy company AMMTEC, maintenance equipment manufacturers Hedweld Engineering and software company Micromine.

The mission also included leading engineering procurement construction management companies WorleyParsons and Aker Solutions.