Kazakhstan and US Bolster Cooperation in Energy and Mining Sectors

ASTANA – Kazakh Minister of Industry and Construction Kanat Sharlapayev paid a working visit to the United States to expand cooperation with the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and leading companies in energy, geology, and mining, reported the ministry’s press service on Feb. 29. 

Photo credit: the press service of the Kazakh Ministry of Industry and Construction.

On the first day, the minister met with DFC Deputy CEO Nisha Desai Biswal to address economic development and the growing volumes of bilateral trade. He noted the 12% increase in the U.S. companies in Kazakhstan over the past year.

Sharlapayev presented emerging opportunities in Kazakhstan related to processing rare and rare-earth metals, such as titanium, beryllium, tantalum, and niobium, as well as the vast potential for developing projects based on the country’s rich raw material base. 

Photo credit: the press service of the Kazakh Ministry of Industry and Construction.

The sides discussed the construction of the KazAzot fertilizer plant, the production of electric vehicle charging stations, the development of a container hub at the Aktau port and a transport and logistics hub in the West Kazakhstan Region.

In turn, Biswal expressed an intention to visit the country for further discussions and the DFC’s interest in implementing large-scale projects in cooperation with Kazakhstan. 

Apart from DFC, Sharlapayev plans to meet with the U.S.-Kazakhstan Business Council members and the U.S. Geological Survey to address new prospects for investment collaboration, including volumes, long-term contracts, and investment incentives. In these terms, Kazakhstan boasts a developed regulatory environment. 

According to the ministry, Kazakhstan produces and processes 17 of the 50 types of critical minerals identified by the United States. The supplies of Kazakh beryllium and tantalum to Transport Technologies, International Business Corporation (IBC) U.S. Holdings, and Tosoh Specialty Metals Division (SMD) exemplify a well-established cooperation with the United States. 

Minerals of strategic importance, critical minerals, have carved a prioritized niche in Kazakhstan’s economy. In his interview with CNBC in December last year, Sharlapayev spoke about the country’s cooperation in critical minerals with European partners, which continues to strengthen. 

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