On the way of industrial upgrade

July 05. Kazpravda

By Rysty Alibekova, Inesh Kankenova

On the way of industrial upgradeThird International Mining and Metallurgy Congress “Astana Mining & Metallurgy” (AMM 2012) opened the Days of mining and metallurgical complex of Kazakhstan at the Palace of the Independence yesterday.

The AMM – 2012 includes a range of events: III congress of workers of mining and metallurgical industries, thematic roundtables “Innovations in Mining” and “Human Resources for MMC,” as well as conducting a branch national contest “The Golden Hephaestus.” Problems of industrial and innovation policy of the state to increase export competitiveness and the creation of high added value products, the introduction of innovative development and training of qualified personnel, which should bring the MMC of Kazakhstan to the forefront, are fully reflected in the concept of the Days of mining &metallurgic complex. The delegations of branch ministries from Belarus, China, Turkey and Ukraine arrived in Astana to participate in the central event of the industry.

The main organizer of the Days is RK Ministry of Industry and New Technologies. The third congress of workers of Mining and metallurgical industry will be held under the auspices of the Republican Association of Mining and Metallurgical Enterprises (AMME) in partnership with the trade union of workers of mining and metallurgical industry.

A solid foundation for ambitious plans

The International Mining and Metallurgical Congress “Astana Mining & Metallurgy”, which started its work yesterday, the third consecutive year brings together the world’s political, business, financial, and scientific leaders of the mining industry and serves as an open forum for the discussion of strategic issues of the MMC of Kazakhstan and international partnerships. This year the AMM covers a full cycle of production processes – from exploration, ore extraction, enrichment and processing to manufacturing of finished products. The program included a plenary session of the Congress and three thematic sessions of geologists, mining engineers and metallurgists.

Speaking at the plenary session on the international cooperation of mining countries, First Deputy Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov said that until recently the industry had been focused mainly on the export of raw materials and primary metals. But today, we create new metallurgical industries, manufacturing products with high added value, providing growth of high-tech products, their export to foreign markets, as well as the satisfaction of the domestic market’s need.

The mining and metals industry, as one of the major sectors of our economy can be characterized by the following parameters: it is 7% of our gross domestic product and 17% of the total industrial volume. In this regard, the development of mining and metallurgical complex was one of the priorities under the State program AIID. Base indexes, according to First Deputy Prime Minister, are the increase in gross added value in 2015 by 107% and double growth in export sector.

Serik Akhmetov said that the program of development of the mining industry for 2010-2014, detailed the main areas of development, mechanisms for achieving the goals and specified the lists of investment projects. He also added that the country has all prerequisites to implement the program in the planned volume. Its competitiveness primarily rests on a reliable mineral base, which has the potential to further expansion and development.

Exploration – to a new level

However, in recent years, the scope of exploration work does not fully cover the outgoing resources. The program stipulates that within the deposits’ development the state will organize detailed and complex exploration of new reserves to provide developing mining and metallurgical productions with raw materials.

The Government, he said, is soon adopting a new exploration concept, based on the latest technologies.

The Deputy Prime Minister also warmly congratulated the representative of the MMC on their coming professional holiday and wished them fruitful work and success in the future.

Asset Isekeshev, Minister of Industry and New Technologies in turn, stated that the industry is now rapidly evolving, and progress has been made in almost all indicators. During 2011 the volume of production increased by 6.5% and amounted to 13 billion dollars. According to the minister, within the PAIID the branch is already yielding results. To date, 61 projects included in the map of industrialization are being implemented in the metallurgy sector.

– We are on the verge of adopting a long-term development concept of geologic exploration. We will create all the conditions for investors in this area and develop with them new technologies that will allow us to work at great depths on solid minerals, – said A. Isekeshev.

In addition, he said that Kazakhstan plans to adopt a law that allows investors to implement the industry’s major projects without participation in the contest.

– The purpose of these actions is the maximization of domestic processing, creating products with high added value, – concluded the head of the MINT.

Customs Union – working for the future

Oleg Soskovets, president of the Association of Financial and Industrial Groups of Russia spoke about development of the mining industry through the lens of integration processes in the former Soviet Union.

In particular, the guest is sure that the Customs Union, initiated by the President of Kazakhstan, ultimately will open significant opportunities for each country – the CU member.

– The scientists of the Russian Academy of Sciences expect that the net increase in economic activity due to the creation of the Customs Union in 2015 may reach at least 400 billion dollars, – said A. Soskovets. – The huge advantage will definitely affect the steel industry in particular.

According to the president, it was unprofitable earlier to deliver finished goods to the territory of neighboring countries from the very Russia or Kazakhstan. The region consumed no more than 10-20% of finished products. But along with that, several structures have already created on the base of Russian and Kazakh companies which complement each other in terms of development, mining and mineral processing. The question now is just the improvement of quality and reduction of costs on manufacturing of final product, since the smallest fluctuations in the neighboring markets can lead to serious problems in the mining industry of countries – participants of the CU.

Among the challenges of time the guests of the Congress also noted such problems as providing a stable product, safety in the workplace, environmental protection, innovations’ development, cooperation between the miners around the world.

– Solution of many of these issues will contribute to the holding in Kazakhstan of the World Mining Congress in 2016 – said the chairman of the International Organizing Committee of the ISC Jozef Dubinski.

Albert Rau, first Vice-Minister of Industry and New Technologies in his presentation was talking of the attractiveness of Kazakhstan as a leader in the region. Meanwhile, the activities of companies operating in Kazakhstan must strictly conform to the principles of rational use of resources and respect for the environment, – he insists.

This message was supported by chief executive director of the ENRC PLC Felix Vulis, who noted that the principles of sustainable development must be introduced at all stages of projects, including planning, permitting, exploration, production and the elimination of the consequences of the companies’ activities.

– We see the effective solution of problems on the use of mineral resources in a rational extension of the resource base, the interaction of production and science, complex processing of raw materials, resource conservation and environmental protection, – he stressed. Another important topic for the industry is training of personnel.

– The profession of metallurgist should become one of the most popular in the country – said during the press conference after the Congress executive director of the Republican Association of Mining and Metallurgical Enterprises Nicholai Radostovets.

Awards to miners and metallurgists

A special exhibition where 60 companies from seven countries demonstrated their products and services was part of the AMM -2012 in the Palace of Independence. Yesterday they also announced the winners of the National industry competition “Golden Hephaestus” and handed rewards for achievements in geology, metallurgy, and mining and coal industries. There were “roundtables”-Innovations in Mining” where they discussed promoting the national science and innovations and “Human Resources for MMC” with the theme: the integrated system providing recommendations to the relevant working groups involved in the development of elements of the National Qualification System of RK.

Today, the Days of MMC will continue their work. The program includes III congress of mining and metallurgical industry, during which the delegates from enterprises, trade unions and heads of state agencies will discuss the most pressing issues of the industry to modernize the production and development of local content, social partnership, the creation of new jobs and personnel provision of companies.