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Further use of the internal geological reporting standard retards the process due to a set of outdated basic terms corresponding to planned socialist economy (such as industrial design parameters, balance and off-balance reserves), which are unclear to the international community.

 Based on the above, there is no alternative to transfer to international reporting standards. For this purpose, The Professional Association of Independent Experts in Subsoil Use Public Association (PONEN) was established in 2015 in addition to KAZRC Association and development of the Public Reporting Code of Kazakhstan aimed at establishing the institute of Competent Persons in Kazakhstan. Competent Persons, in turn, should ensure preparation of public reports according to international standards. There is already a basis for establishment of institute of Competent Persons in the Republic. Thus, there are geologists and mining engineers in the group of specialists from Kazakhstan, who initiated establishment of PONEN; they are already members of foreign professional associations recognized by CRIRSCO, such as Australian Institute of Geoscientists, the Geological Society of London, Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.

There is the Executive Committee, Solid Minerals Section, Uranium Deposit Section and Disciplinary Commission established in the PONEN structure. The Disciplinary Commission is aimed at ensuring compliance with the Ethics Code by Competent Persons.

The main PONEN objective is to engage highly qualified specialists in geological and mining and metallurgical sectors to the Association. Arrange further training for the specialists joining the Association via continuous training, assist in assuring the required quality of public reports. There are four PONEN membership categories: Fellow, Associate, Junior and Student, aimed to encourage professional advancement of the specialists in order to grow global specialists in Kazakhstan.

Requirements to become a PONEN Member: Fellow Member – specialists having higher vocational education, with work experience in the industry for more than 20 years; Associate Member – work experience of more than 5 years; Junior – less than 5 years; Student – students of universities with major related to the sector. In order to join the public association you should acquire references from three PONEN Members in addition to relevant education and experience.
While cooperating with CRIRSCO and other recognized Public Associations of specialists having many years of experience in development and improvement with respect to the international geological reporting standards, PONEN plans to conduct relevant workshops and advanced training courses on a regular basis focused on making the Kazakh specialists enter the new environment as soon as possible.

We have the basis to establish such professional environment, because there is a certain number of experience engineers specialized in geology and mining metallurgy available to improve their qualification with respect to international standards.
Continuous improvement of KAZRC Code is another PONEN objective fulfilled together with KAZRC Association by introducing amendments and adopting new revisions thereof as agreed by CRIRSCO. The Standards Committee was established for such purpose mainly consisting of PONEN Members.

PONEN further training provision says that every PONEN Member should continuously improve their professional skills; a system of point is at place to assess performance of the Members to encourage the specialists to move from the lower membership category to the higher one. However, if a PONEN Member fails to collect a required number of points for a year as required by the qualification improvement scale, such Member might be expelled from PONEN Members and he/she automatically loses his/her right to prepare and sign public reports as Competent Person. Competent Person can also lose his/her status in case of gross violation of the Ethical Code.

Such policy of continuous improvement of professional qualification will create true conditions for continuous training of new generation of internationally recognized specialists in mining and geological sector.

Thus, KAZRC Association and PONEN have currently acquired an official legal status and have started operation. They should be accepted by CRIRSCO within the next four months. They are currently conducting preparation work on mutual recognition of subsoil use experts from different countries by PONEN and similar organizations. Also negotiations between PONEN and KASE Kazakhstan Stock Exchange took place; they prepared the Memorandum that provided for joint activities to attract mining companies to the stock exchange with preparation of public reports by PONEN Members for this purpose.

Implementation of the planned events will enable PONEN to complete the stage of preparation for transfer to international geological reporting standards in 2016 and actually start active implementation of the best international practices in evaluation of mineral resources and mineral reserves in Kazakhstan.

Deputy Chairperson of the PONEN Executive Committee, Candidate of Science in Geology and Mineralogy, FAIG G. Freiman