Kazakhstan to invest over $1bn in exploration

By bne IntelliNews February 5, 2014

bne -

Kazakhstan plans to boost spending on exploration to $1bn by the end of the decade, it announced on February 4, as it seeks to avoid production falls.

The country will spend KZT161bn ($1bn) on geological exploration between 2015 and 2019, Kazakhstan's chief geologist told a press conference in Astana. The investment is part of wide-reaching plans to discover new oil, gas and mineral deposits, in a bid to ward off any risk of declines in production.

"The priority will be placed on new technologies and world-class expertise," the Ministry of Industry's Bazarbai Nurbayev, told journalists, according to Kazinform. Contracts have been signed with "internationally reputed partners", he added.

In March, several top government officials discussed the need for greater investment into mining exploration. While several major new projects are underway, including Kazakhmys' huge greenfield copper projects at Bozshakol and Aktogay, the government wants more to be done to prevent a future falling off in production.

Last year, officials also announced the launch of the "Eurasia project", which aims to double Kazakhstan's resource potential. The plan is part of Astana' target to become one of the world's top ten countries in terms of hydrocarbon reserves.

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