Kazakhstan Unveils $2.46 Billion Mineral Discovery in Single-Industry Towns 

ASTANA — Mineral resources worth 1.1 trillion tenge (US$2.46 billion) were discovered in the vicinity of single-industry towns, Kazakh Minister of Industry and Construction Kanat Sharlapayev said during an April 2 government meeting, reported the Prime Minister’s press service.

Balkhash, one of the single industry towns in the Karaganda region, specializing in non-ferrous metallurgy. Photo credit: Shutterstock

“Private investments worth 28.7 billion tenge ($64.2 million) were attracted to explore the territory. This year, we plan to complete prospecting work in five promising areas near the cities of Abai, Kurchatov, Balkhash, and Altai, which began in 2022,” said Sharlapayev.

Extraction of minerals and their primary processing is the main activity of 20 single-industry towns with a population of 1.3 million people. Last year, single-industry towns made up 40% of the country’s total industrial production, reaching 18.5 trillion tenge (US$41.4 billion). The number of operating small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in single-industry towns increased over the year from 92,300 to 100,200.

“Today, 23 city-forming enterprises of oil and gas, coal, bauxite, iron ore and others operate in single-industry towns. The volume of investments in fixed assets in 2023 reached 4.2 trillion tenge (US$9.4 billion) increasing by 6.1% compared to 2022,” said Deputy Prime Minister and National Economy Minister Nurlan Baibazarov.

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