Kazakhstan’s membership in the EITI suspended
NGOs in Kazakhstan are raising concerns over the country’s failure to submit a report to the International Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), the global standard for managing oil, gas, and minerals. The EITI aims to improve governance and accountability in the extractive industries and to prevent corruption and mismanagement of natural resources. The EITI requires a report that collects financial data from all subsoil users in the country, including coal, copper, uranium, and other minerals. The report details how much of each resource was mined and sold, as well as all deductions to the budget, including those for social purposes in the mining regions.
On 14th February 2023, Kazakhstani social activists wrote an open letter to the President, urging transparency in the country’s mining sector. The EITI suspended Kazakhstan’s membership on 1st February 2023, due to the unprepared report.
However, according to Vice Minister of Energy Askhat Khasenov, the issue will soon get resolved. During a press conference at the Central Communications Service under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Khasenov stated that it is a technical issue and that the report will be provided. He clarified that Kazakhstan has an authorized body, the Ministry of Investment and Development (MIIR), which annually collects data on all minerals, including hydrocarbons and uranium from the Ministry of Energy, and publishes a general report. Although there has been a delay in the reports, this has nothing to do with the issue of suspension or withdrawal from the organisation according to the senior official.
Khasenov emphasized that Article 77 of the Code “On Subsoil and Subsoil Use” provides for the norms that follow the EITI’s requirements. According to him, the MIIR is compiling a report on the provision of information on solid minerals, which requires a significant amount of work. Therefore, while there have been concerns raised about the alleged “loss” of EITI membership, Khasenov believes that the issue of terminating the initiative is not worth considering at this time.