This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Kazakhstan is endowed with abundant mineral resources including coal, ferrous and non-ferrous metals. More than 230 separate enterprises produce or process coal, iron and steel, copper, lead, zinc, manganese, gold, aluminum, titanium sponge, uranium and barites among others. The mining sector accounts for an estimated 14% of GDP and in 2019 hard minerals and metals made up approximately 16% of the country’s exports by value. For example, last year the country earned USD 2.5 billion from exports of refined copper to non-EAEU countries, USD 792 million from zinc exports, USD 538 million from silver, USD 369 million from aluminum, USD 251 million from lead and USD 121 million from titanium. Kazakhstan is the world’s leading producer of uranium.
The country has the world’s 8th largest reserves of iron ore with 12.5 billion tons. The nation ranks second, globally, in manganese ore reserves, estimated at 600 million tons. The country’s current reserves of copper are estimated at 36million tons. Kazakhstan also hosts 30% of the worldwide chromite ore deposits, as well as 95% of the total chromium reserves.
The mining industry in Kazakhstan is mainly focused on exports to Russia, China and the EU. Much of the technology and management practices of this industry date from Soviet times, which has hampered development of the industry. Exports of mining equipment to Kazakhstan have been limited by a lack of investment in this sector. In the mid-1990’s, many foreign investors entered the country and started exploration and development activities, but, with few exceptions, ceased their operations due to lack of transparency, poor financial incentives, unclear and arbitrary laws which favor local investors, inefficient bureaucracy and unclear land tenure laws.
Kazakhstan is focused on attracting investment to further develop its gold (ranked 10th globally) and uranium mining (25% of world reserves) industries as commodity prices rise. In 2018, Kazakhstan implemented new sub-soil usage legislation intended to encourage new investment in the mining sector.
Kazakhstan remains an attractive market for U.S. mining equipment/machinery suppliers, particularly for manufacturers of bulldozers, drilling equipment, explosives, trucks, drill rigs, trams, cranes, crushing and pulverizing machinery, dredges, hydraulic excavators, quarrying machinery and equipment, elevators, compressors, hammer mills and specialized trucks among others.
Among the best sales prospects and services are diamond drilling contractors and service providers that perform geological, geochemical and geophysical surveying. Companies that provide goods and services that address erosion, formation of sinkholes, loss of biodiversity, contamination of groundwater and surface water as well as products that minimize harm towards the environment, will also enjoy significant demand in Kazakhstan.
More than half of Kazakhstan’s mining, processing, and smelting enterprises currently use outdated equipment that is often in need of repair. Almost all lack environmentally friendly technologies. Kazakhstan does not have its own mining machinery industry and relies heavily on Russian imports. U.S. mining equipment firms should explore trade opportunities in used and refurbished equipment, as well as in turnkey project management services.