Kazakh president views extraction of critical raw materials as promising cooperation area

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has described the extraction of critical raw materials as a promising area of cooperation, the presidential press service said.

“Rare earths have become a key component for a broad range of technologies. They are needed to achieve net-zero emissions and in strategic sectors such as industry, digital technology, space and defense. We continue to work with international partners on the most effective ways to develop our large deposits of uranium, lithium, titanium and other rare earths,” the press service quoted Tokayev as saying at plenary session of the Boao Forum for Asia on Thursday.

As reported, the evaluation of the lithium potential will begin in three regions of Kazakhstan. In particular, National Geological Service Board Chairman Yerlan Galiyev said at the EU-Kazakhstan Partnership Forum in Belgium, “it is planned to start the evaluation of the lithium potential in three regions of Kazakhstan as part of state geological survey.”

“Whereas primary lithium deposits are predicted in the eastern and southeastern regions, mineral brines of the Aral sedimentary basin are very favorable for lithium, according to primary information. Its geological conditions are similar to the Salar de Atacama salt marsh in Chile, which contains about 30% of the world’s lithium reserves,” Galiyev said.

Kazakhstan has six deposits, which might contain lithium, on the state balance sheet, namely, Yubileinoye, Verkhne-Baimurzinskoye, Bakennoye, Akhmetkino, Medvedka, and Akhmirovskoye.

“There are substantial reserves of lithium and rare earths in tailings and sand dumps of ore dressing factories and deposits in central and southern Kazakhstan and rare earth deposits in eastern Kazakhstan,” he said.

Galiyev pledged the readiness of the National Geological Service for partnership with foreign companies and invited interested persons to familiarize themselves with projects, promising that everything will be done for a favorable investment climate.

It was reported later that German companies Knauf Gruppe, GP Gunter Papenburg AG and Roxtec, as well as the German Institute of Lithium (ITEL) set up a consortium to produce lithium using Kazakh deposits.


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