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Consistent Innovations

On the eve of MiningWorld Central Asia 2016, Almaty audience and guests of the Mining Club got together for a regular meeting. The specialists engaged in mining production and related industries met for the nineteenth time on September 13. The agenda of the meeting was very informative, as the subjects of the reports were of current importance for the mining and geological community of Kazakhstan.
The representative of French Axter-Coletanche Jacques Moeglen, Coletanche Export Director; Ivan Misar, Coletanche Chief Engineer, Technical Manager; Alexandr Yakunin, Director of Axter-Coletanche Representative Office in Kazakhstan; Yerzhan Akhmetov, General Director of BGMproduction LLP. Their reports referred to innovative solutions in production and use of bituminous geomembrane for water development facilities of the mining and metallurgical complex of Kazakhstan. In his presentation Ivan Misar, Coletanche Chief Engineer and Technical Manager, told in details about specific features of such membrane compared to conventional materials used in MMC. In addition, he provided a comparative analysis of the properties of geomembrane vs global analogues used nowadays. The company’s French and Kazakh experts mentioned high geo membrane adaptability to any types of surfaces that extends significantly various opportunities of use not only in environment protection, but also in transport infrastructure, in construction and other essential production sectors. For example, heap leach sites, tailing dumps of refineries and hydrometallurgical plants, storage ponds, including with potable water, industrial and domestic waste dumps, storage areas with environmentally aggressive reagents, such as high-toxic and radioactive waste. Moreover, every practical use of geomembrane was added with real-life examples based on the company’s global experience. Positive experience in the use of such innovative solution in the country was presented as a conclusion. The foundation for the heap leach site was covered with geomembrane sheets at one of the fields in the north of Kazakhstan.
The next two speakers from KAZRC Association and PONEN PA focused on the topics referring to the public reporting code of Kazakhstan and activities of the professional community of Competent Persons in the Republic.
According to Saule Urazayeva, Executive Director of KAZRC Association, geological aspects, existing investment situation and established environment are required and sufficient basis for Kazakhstan to transfer to the international reporting standards with respect to results of geological exploration activities, mineral resources and mineral reserves. According to Kazgeoinform, 497 contracts for solid minerals have been signed so far in the country, of which 116 for exploration and production, 199 for exploration only and 172 for production. Assuming that there are 320 gold ore fields in the country in total and 95% of mineral resources have been contracted; such data for copper are 115 and 96, respectively; for zinc – 89 and 90; for bauxites – 24 and 56, etc.
Saule Bakhtiyarovna also mentioned that the investment share for geological exploration had been 2.5% in Kazakhstan for the last 5 years; and if we refer to the reporting numbers, total amount of costs for 2011-2015 was $32,195. In the course of her report, she told that the country is inferior to main manufacturing countries by total volume of production of solid minerals (except for uranium). Thus, Kazakhstan has a share in copper production equal to 0.003088%; according to SNL Mrtal&Mining, global production is about 70M tons; the country (according to Kazgeoinform) has such production equal to about 2K tons. Accordingly, lead looks like 0.001946% / ~21,000,000 tons / more than 400 tons, coal is equal to 0.001147 / 32,410,240,000 tons /327,000 tons, etc.
Considering the existing situation in the country Ms. Urazayeva also referred to risk factors accompanying almost all components in the mining industry. Reliability is the most important risk factor of 100% importance. Then prices for raw materials and operating costs – 33.3%, then location (23.8%), capital expenditures (22.2%) and others. The prospect of growth of usable reserves is the last one (32%).
While on the subject, Saule Bakhtiyarovna Urazayeva in her report The Public Reporting Code of Kazakhstan with Respect to Results of Geological Exploration Activities, Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves. Goals, Objectives and Plans of Implementation focused on the need for Kazakhstan to establish strategic partnership in CRIRSCO-ICMM. She mentioned the fact that ICMM at the moment united 23 leading global manufacturers in mining and metallurgy and 34 national and regional associations uniting more than 1,500 related companies from 58 countries of the world. CRIRSCO objectives and functions also include establishing minimum public reporting standards, provision of mandatory classification system of evaluation of resources and reserves, description of requirements to qualifications and experience of Competent Persons; it also provides consulting and methodical assistance for NPRO Members (National Public Reporting Organizations). It is NPRO that is in charge for development of the Public Reporting Code compatible with CRIRSCO template and responsible for updating thereof. KAZRC Association acts as NPRO in Kazakhstan; its activities are regulated in accordance with CRIRSCO principles. If referring to CRIRSCO/ KAZRC standards, the guiding principles are TRANSPARENCY, RELEVANCE, and COMPETENCE. Each of them reflects its own working aspect. For example, COMPETENCE. It predetermines that Competent Persons (subsoil experts) are engaged in preparation of Public Report, i.e. specialists with relevant job qualification, job-related experience and knowledge, members of professional associations with the Ethics Code applicable and binding disciplinary procedures established. The Professional Association of Independent Experts in Subsoil Use Public Association (PONEN) acts as such organization in the country.
Nikolay Yenshin, Member of the PONEN Executive Committee presented the structure, objectives and activities of the organization to the specialists, who attended the meeting of the Mining Club.
“Competent Person” means a professional in the mining industry, who acts as an independent expert and makes a public declaration to the society of suitability of a field for various types of mining activities (exploration, evaluation of Mineral Resources, production and economically beneficial operation) and investment therein. Mr. Yenshin in his report The Professional Association of Experts in Subsoil Use of Kazakhstan (PONEN) defined independent experts in a clear and understandable way.
The public association in Kazakhstan accepts professionals based on voluntariness and equality principle, however, with mandatory compliance with all disciplinary instructions and ethical regulations provided for by the charter of the organization, with the membership provision, ethical code, professional development guideline and other documents related to the legal status.
Hierarchically, PONEN membership structure provides for the following membership categories:
– Fellow (FPONEN)
– Member (MPONEN)
– Associate (APONEN)
– Student (SPONEN).
Such gradation provides for different liability level and different extent of engagement in the association’s activities. However, each and every member should continuously improve their professional qualifications, take active part in PONEN events, and execute association’s orders.
Then in his report Nikolay Yenshin focused on the association’s acceptance procedure, amount and period of membership fee, rights and obligations of Competent Persons, handling complaints and many other issues.
After the basic reported were delivered, participants and visitors of the Mining Club continued discussing reports and speeches in an informal setting.

Svetlana Karyagina