Digitalisation, infrastructure and human resource development: Government approves new Geology Sector Development Concept

The draft Concept of geological industry development for 2023-2027 was considered at the Government session chaired by Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov.

Minister of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources Serikkali Brekeshev said that the main purpose of the Concept is to create favourable conditions for attracting investments in mineral exploration. At the same time, in order to solve the industry's major problems, it is planned to work in four areas: 1) improving the efficiency of geological exploration of subsurface resources and replenishment of the mineral resource base; 2) informatisation and digitalisation of the geological industry; 3) research and personnel support; and 4) infrastructure development.

According to the Minister of Industry and Infrastructural Development Kairbek Uskenbayev, it is also planned to simplify procedures for obtaining licenses for the use of mineral resources, automate business processes between investors and authorized government agencies, to ensure full "transparency" of the process of issuing licenses for exploration and production of solid minerals under the concept.

The Minister of Energy Bolat Akchulakov also gave a presentation on this topic.

Having heard the speakers, the Prime Minister said that Kazakhstan's mineral resources base is one of the world's leaders in terms of the quantity and diversity of resources, but in recent years the growth in reserves of many types of minerals has not been compensated. For example, major metal deposits in eastern Kazakhstan, including Orlovskoye, Maleyevskoye, Tishinskoye and Ridder-Sokolnoye, will be mined within the next decade.

"The growing demand for industrial raw materials requires the comprehensive development of the mineral resource base in terms of finding new promising deposits. In this regard, it is necessary to create conditions to attract investment in geological exploration," Smailov said.

In order to provide comprehensive service support to investors the National Geological Service has been created today, the KAZNEDRA information platform is in pilot operation and the subsoil use regulatory framework has undergone sweeping changes, he said. This allowed for more competitive access to subsoil and geological information, increased protection of the rights of the discoverer of the deposit for its development and significantly accelerated all procedures.

"The Concept under consideration today has been developed taking into account new measures to improve the efficiency of the state geological study of subsoil. It reflects digitalisation of the industry, development of infrastructure, and building human resources capacity. The draft has undergone all the necessary approvals," Prime Minister said.

Following the voting procedure on the submitted concept Alikhan Smailov instructed the Ministry of Environment in conjunction with the relevant government agencies to ensure the effective implementation of its initiatives.

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