Currently Rio Tinto intends to invest more than $ 100 million into geological exploration in 14 countries around the world, where the company works, including Kazakhstan.
The Vice Minister for Investment and Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan Timur Toktabayev met with the head of the geological exploration department Dave Andrews and the director of geological exploration in the Africa-Eurasia region Ken Teinton of the Australian-British concern Rio Tinto within the framework of the international mining forum PDAC in Toronto, Canada.
The meeting was attended by the director of the subsoil use department of the Ministry of Investment and Development of the RK Ruslan Baimishev, the deputy chairman of the board of JSC Kazgeologia Eldar Taşash and the representatives of the Embassy of Kazakhstan in Canada.
The parties discussed the current state and prospects for the development of joint cooperation in the implementation of geological exploration projects, as well as planned legislative reforms in the field of subsoil use, the possibility of increasing investment into geological exploration and training of the Kazakhstan personnel.
Timur Toktabaev informed about the new draft Code on Subsoil and Subsoil Use that will ensure the attraction of investments into geological exploration, as well as planned conceptual changes in the taxation system, plans for creating a geological cluster in Almaty and an international certified laboratory in Kazakhstan.
The Vice Minister, noting the strategic cooperation with Rio Tinto, spoke about the possibility of increasing the geological exploration in Kazakhstan under a new licensing model. In particular, the concern was proposed to conduct geological exploration for diamonds and to start these operations with aerogeophysical research in the Zhambyl Region jointly with KazGeoTech companies.
In turn, Dave Andrews stated that the company expected the government of Kazakhstan to strengthen the good investment climate in the country. Rio Tinto is interested in implementing the new Subsoil Code, and also counts on the possibility of switching its contracts to a new regime and a possible transition to the generally accepted tax regime (royalties) in the world that stimulates the processing of raw materials in the country.
Currently Rio Tinto intends to invest more than $ 100 million into geological exploration in 14 countries, where the company conducts operations, including Kazakhstan. Taking into account the introduction of a new code on minerals in the Republic of Kazakhstan, which, according to the management of the concern, inspires confidence in the symbiosis of geological potential and the announced reforms, special attention will be paid to Kazakhstan.
Ken Teignon noted the importance of cooperation with Kazgeologiya JSC and plans to create a professional team in Kazakhstan using the experience of the geological services of the concern.
Rio Tinto is interested in working together to create national database and ensure the implementation of best practices in the systematization of geological information, training Kazakh specialists, stressing the importance and the need for the development of this cooperation, including within OECD.