The brisk recovery pace of the world economy after the 2020 crisis and the shortage of many types of raw materials inspired talks about the new supercycle. Critics however believe that there are no prerequisites for large-scale growth in demand for raw materials which in the past was driven by major forces such as rapid industrialisation of China and global economic growth. A consensus is evident only in the trend of rising prices of the metals and minerals produced with low carbon footprint technologies and under ESG principles. Kazakhstan is a world leader in uranium production and a major exporter of coal and metals. However, according to the official forecasts, the reserves of non-ferrous and precious metals in Kazakhstan are limited and can be depleted in 12 –15 years. To improve the discovery of new deposits of gold, copper, polymetals, hydrocarbons, uranium, and rare earths the Government promises to increase four times the funding of exploration and by 2030 plans to offer national and international investors 40 – 50 largescale projects for further development. Major incentives are also being considered by the Government to boost exploration by major mining and metals companies operating in Kazakhstan. With the increasing role of metals in economic development, Kazakhstan’s mining and metallurgical industry is undergoing a technological and ESG transformation. The competitiveness of companies improves with the integration of digital technologies, solving problems such as low operational efficiency, outdated business models and low profitability. Digitalisation and automation are changing the role of people in industrial production. Kazakhstan’s mining and metallurgical industry is facing many challenges such as volatility of global commodity markets, the growth of new trade barriers in the form of “green” taxes and “zero-carbon” tariffs, transformation with the introduction of industry 4.0 technologies. These challenges also create opportunities and impetus for innovation, modernisation and sustainable development of mining in Kazakhstan.
The mining and metallurgical industry are one of the top three air pollutants. If Kazakhstan fails to meet its obligations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, companies may lose their positions in the world markets due to non-compliance with “green” standards. Reducing carbon emissions by 19% by 2030 and being carbon neutral by 2060 will require a clear roadmap and coordination across all sectors. To fulfil carbon neutrality commitments, companies must significantly increase investment in the development of “green” technologies. Many are already implementing programs to cut back carbon emissions. However, the transition to carbon neutrality will require unprecedented investments in the development of new production methods and renewable energy technologies. To achieve carbon neutrality, the state needs to make a difficult decision to abandon coal mining, which is the main source of energy generation and the economy of several regions. The transition to solar and wind energy will raise tariffs and reduce the competitiveness of exported products. For the implementation of renewable energy technologies in the mining and metallurgical industry, adjustments are needed in the national strategy for socio-economic development. Clearly defined ecological fiscal regulation and green taxonomy will be playing a critical part in supporting sustainable and responsible mining.
• Zero carbon agenda of Kazakhstan’s mining industry. Plans and Strategies.
• How does the government of Kazakhstan plan to encourage companies to invest in achieving carbon neutrality?
• How will cross-border carbon regulation develop and how will this affect the competitiveness of exporting mining and metallurgical companies?
• Strategies for the development of the coal industry in Kazakhstan’s carbon neutrality doctrine.
• What are the challenges of reducing carbon emissions of the mining industry?
• What archetypes of energy transition and decarbonisation are available to mining operations in Kazakhstan?
• How much does carbon-free mining cost?
• How do companies plan to finance decarbonisation?
• What technologies can bring the fastest and most efficient results for reducing emissions?
• Will the mining and metals sector be able to turn climate risks into opportunities, and at what cost to business?
Achieving carbon neutrality in industrial production requires significant investment commitments from mining companies, financial and government institutions. Global climate initiatives stimulate the creation of new financial instruments and the development of taxonomy practices for green and adaptation projects. To enhance ESG financing of industrial transformation a widespread discussion is taking place on many levels. Credit institutions and stock markets are developing new criteria. Raising finance for green and adaptation projects helps companies to improve their ratings and increase market value. Companies are mastering responsible financing tools that allow them to raise funds for reducing climate change footprint and implement green projects e.g., waste management, energy, construction, transport, water supply, biodiversity, and environmental preservation.
• Managing the value and costs of mining in the context of a green economy agenda and climate commitments.
• Development of sustainable and responsible financing in the mining industry – global and national experience.
• How does ESG financing help solve environmental problems in practice?
• Experience in financing sustainable development projects: building solar and wind power plants, purchasing electricity from suppliers with the lowest carbon footprint, investing in the construction of water treatment facilities and restoring the biodiversity of ecosystems.
• Performance evaluation criteria of ESG-funded projects.
• ESG finance for junior exploration companies.
Organised in partnership with: SRK Consulting
According to official data, about 8 thousand deposits are operating in Kazakhstan today. All of them were discovered back in the USSR times. But many of the deposits of lead, copper, and rare metals will be depleted in 10-15 years. Mine closures are associated with operational and social challenges. Once the mine is closed, the operating company is responsible for land and water reclamation as well as resolving environmental issues such as biodiversity conservation and restoration of pre-existing ecosystems. This is a technologically complex and costly process that is typically considered early in the design and development of a mine. Mines closures in Kazakhstan is a relatively recent development and practical experience in responsible mine closure is critical to the sustainable development of the industry and society. Social challenges in Kazakhstan are especially acute in the areas where purpose-built mining mono-towns are facing unemployment and population relocation. In the East Kazakhstan and Karaganda regions, closures of mines and mono-towns have already begun. It is assumed that in 5-20 years many mines in the East of Kazakhstan will be closed. This could potentiality lead to major socio-economic problems that need to be addressed urgently.
• Estimates and forecasts of mine closures in Kazakhstan.
• How unique is the problem of mines closures in Kazakhstan and how they are managed in other countries?
• Subsoil use regulation changes applicable to mine closures in Kazakhstan. What’s new and how the new Environment Code works in practice?
• Implementation of the internationally accepted practices and guidelines of mine closure in Kazakhstan.
• Management of technogenic mineral deposits – regulation and practice.
• Technologies and best practices of construction and reclamation of tailings.
• Comprehensive planning and implementation of mine closure.
• Financing mine closure and post-mining rehabilitation in Kazakhstan.
• Ensuring the safety and stability of mining structures and facilities for further use.
• Reducing the social, environmental, and financial risks of mine closures and creating social, economic and cultural opportunities for the local population.
• Ensuring a socially responsible business practice and fulfilling obligations in relation to the released personnel.