Kazakhstan, UK Sign Roadmap on Critical Minerals

ASTANA – Kazakh Vice Minister of Industry and Construction Iran Sharkhan and the United Kingdom’s (UK) Minister of Industry and Economic Security Nusrat Ghani signed a roadmap for strategic cooperation in critical minerals on the sidelines of the Mineral Processing and Circular Economy business forum, currently being held on March 11-15 in London, reported the ministry’s press service.

Iran Sharkhan and Nusrat Ghani sign a roadmap for strategic cooperation in critical minerals. Photo credit: gov.kz

The roadmap was signed as a practical step following the memorandum of understanding on strategic partnership on critical minerals concluded during the visit of British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly to Astana in March 2023.

Critical minerals include metals and rare elements used in modern technology and are essential for national security and economic prosperity.

Sharkhan, leading the Kazakh delegation, outlined the roadmap’s three key focus areas: general cooperation in geology, personnel training, and technology transfer.

Of the 18 critical minerals identified by the British Geological Survey, Kazakhstan has production capabilities for eight and possesses raw material reserves for ten others.

The partnership with the UK centers on attracting investment in geological exploration and technology.

When receiving rights to develop a field in Kazakhstan, a foreign investor must undertake obligations to process raw materials within the country and create new production facilities, Sharkhan noted.

Notably, the threshold for exporting processed raw materials aligns with the average processing stage: the level of goods of low technological complexity or semi-finished goods.

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