European Commission Executive Vice-President for European Green Deal, Maroš Šefčovič, made the announcement during a speech to the EU-Kazakhstan Business Forum.
Šefčovič said the planned support for the mining projects was a “concrete example of how we [Europe and Kazakhstan] can work together to develop fully integrated sustainable raw materials value chains.“
“This will help us address strategic dependencies and promote economic development and create high-quality jobs – both in Kazakhstan and in the EU.”
In June, Tau-Ken Samruk and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) signed an agreement to boost innovation in the domestic mining sector and introduce new technologies.
Šefčovič said yesterday in Almaty that this week also saw agreements signed between SGS Netherlands and Kazakh rare metals research centre Zhezkazganredmet on technological cooperation in the recovery of rare earth elements from uranium mining waste.
A cooperation deal on airborne geophysical exploration between Spain’s Xcalibur Multiphysics and the Kazakh National Geological Survey has also been secured, added the EC official.
“We are seeking to boost our domestic mining, processing and refining capacities in a sustainable manner, in accordance with strict environmental and social standards.
“Secondly, we know that Europe’s domestic supply can never entirely meet our needs for critical minerals. So we must also diversify external sources of supply.”
The flurry of deals comes a year after a strategic partnership between the European Union and Kazakhstan was signed on sustainable raw materials, batteries, and renewable hydrogen value chains.
Kazakhstan has an estimated 8.6 million tonnes of lithium resources, making it the fifth-largest holder of lithium reserves in the world, according to the United States Geological Survey. The country’s lithium deposits are located in two main areas: the southern and western regions. The southern deposits are located in the Aktau and Zhambyl provinces, while the western deposits are located in the Mangystau and Atyrau provinces.
Source: Mining Magazine