Kazakhs to Award Up to 100 Mine Licenses as Industry Rules Eased

Kazakhstan plans to award 50 to 100 mining-exploration licenses starting next year after it brings in a law to make it easier to tap the nation’s rich resources.

“Next year will probably be the most active year and we would expect international mining companies coming in and bidding,” Erlan Sagadiev, deputy minister for investments and development, said in an interview in London. “We are developing new rules that are much easier than they have been.”

Kazakhstan, the largest energy producer in the former Soviet Union after Russia, is seeking to spur growth by drawing in overseas investors and selling assets. A draft “subsoil law” to be submitted to the government by the end of the year may be adopted by parliament in the first half, Sagadiev said.

New technologies are “opening large possibilities for mining companies to come in and find new deposits,” he said. “The country has not drilled below 500 meters.”

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