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Kazakhstan: Natural Resources
Country Study > Chapter 9 > The Economy > Natural Resources

NATURAL RESOURCES


Soviet geologists once boasted that Kazakhstan was capable of exporting the entire Periodic Table of Elements. During the Soviet period, Kazakhstan supplied about 7 percent of the union's gold, or about twenty-four tons per year. Since independence, the republic has attracted large foreign partners to develop existing or new mines. President Nazarbayev announced intentions to increase annual gold production to fifty or sixty tons by 1995 or 1996.

In 1989 the mines of Kazakhstan yielded 23.8 million tons of iron ore and 151,900 tons of manganese. The republic also possesses deposits of uranium, chrome, titanium, nickel, wolfram, silver, molybdenum, bauxite, and copper. Major phosphate mines feed fertilizer plants in the southern city of Zhambyl. Three major coal fields -- Torghay, Qaraghandy, and Ekibastuz -- produced 140 million tons of hard coal in 1991, but by 1994 Kazakhstan's national total had dropped to 104 million tons.

In the mid-1990s, all minerals in Kazakhstan belonged to the republic. Authority for decisions concerning their development was delegated to the prime minister, provided that these decisions were consistent with laws on natural resource development. The fundamental law "On Natural Resources and the Development of Mineral Resources" was passed in May 1992, but its treatment of foreign development of minerals is limited to two brief paragraphs stipulating that foreign development be conducted in accordance with international and national law.

Data as of March 1996




Last Updated: March 1996


Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Kazakhstan was first published in 1996. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on Factba.se.

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Section 36 of 65






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