According to Aibar Dautov, head of the Association “Tau-Ken Kazakhstan”, the mining and metallurgical complex has the potential to become the next economic driver for Kazakhstan, following the decline in demand for hydrocarbons, which has been the main source of income for the country for the past 30 years. The mining and metallurgical complex is currently not well-represented in the country’s planning documents, but a well-formulated strategy could help to elevate the industry and bring it to the forefront of national priorities.
Kazakhstan’s competitive advantage on a global scale is its vast territory, which ranks 9th in the world. The country’s natural resources form more than 80% of its exports and over 90% of the revenue in the National Fund. On the back of the ongoing downward trend in hydrocarbon prices, the mining and metallurgical complex is becoming increasingly important due to the rising demand for metals in the development of electric vehicles and green energy.
However, the absence of a clearly formulated strategy for the development of the subsoil in the state planning system is hindering progress in the industry. The various fundamental and sensitive areas for subsoil development, such as ecology, state financing programs, regulation of subsoil use, geology, and taxation, are under the jurisdiction of different ministries and departments, and their interests often contradict each other.
Dautov suggests the adoption of a new National Priority to elevate the importance of the mining and metallurgical industry and coordinate the efforts of the government. The new National Priority should include monetary indicators of revenue in US dollars, such as revenue from the mining industry and revenue from the metallurgical industry. The long-term goal should be to place Kazakhstan among the top 9 countries in the world in terms of these target indicators, which would correspond to the country’s potential based on its vast territory.