Mining companies active in Kazakhstan have urged authorities to remove bureaucratic hurdles to investment in order to encourage overdue exploration of prospective metals deposits in the Central Asian state.
Companies including global mining giant Rio Tinto and London-listed ENRC have grown frustrated at red tape encountered by miners seeking to establish a presence in the vast steppe nation of 16.7 million people. “A lack of transparency in the tender process means that foreign investors do not feel confident they can get a fair hearing,” said Chris Welton, Rio Tinto’s general manager for exploration in Central Asia. “The decision on awarding tenders is driven solely on the signing bonus and the social contribution, with no consideration of the technical competence of the winner or the winner’s ability to develop that project,” he said.
Another London-listed miner, Frontier Mining, aims to be producing 30,000 tonnes a year of copper from three Kazakh deposits by 2016, company president Yerlan Sagadiyev said.