Mining companies must pay higher taxes Kazakh president says

On 11 January Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev ordered his government to extract greater tax revenue from the mining sector which he said was profiting from higher metals prices.

Kazakhstan has just weathered the worst bout of unrest since it gained independence from the Soviet Union three decades ago and the plan for higher taxation of the mining sector was included in a package of measures announced by Tokayev on Tuesday to try and bridge income inequality.

The Central Asian country is the world’s top global producer of uranium, the metal that fuels nuclear power plants, and also has large deposits of copper, iron ore and zinc.

Prices of industrial metals prices surged last year and the price of uranium also jumped last week after the unrest, which was initially sparked by protests against a hike in fuel prices but widened into what the authorities have since called an attempted coup d’etat.