EBRD supports inclusion in Kazakhstan through Kyzyl gold deposit development


ASTANA (TCA) — The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) on June 22 said it is deepening its efforts to promote economic inclusion in the energy sector and the extractive industries of Kazakhstan with a US$ 140 million loan to Bakyrchik Mining Venture LLP for the development of the Kyzyl gold deposit.

The investment will create hundreds of jobs in eastern Kazakhstan and bring the highest international standards into the sector.

Bakyrchik Mining Venture LLP is a fully owned subsidiary of Polymetal International PLC, a precious metals company listed in London and Moscow. The Kyzyl gold project will transfer new skills and modern technology to the mining sector in Kazakhstan thanks to Polymetal’s extensive experience and recognised expertise in projects of this type.

According to the development plan, most jobs in the new operations will go to residents of local settlements. After the EBRD-financed development becomes operational it will employ a total of about 1,000 workers, creating 400 new jobs.

EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti signed the project at the sidelines of the 30th plenary session of the Foreign Investors’ Council in Astana, which he traditionally co-chairs. He said: “We are deeply committed to the economic development of Kazakhstan’s remote regions. The Kyzyl project will bring innovation, new technologies and new jobs to eastern Kazakhstan. We look forward to working with Polymetal on improving opportunities for young people and women in the industry.”

President of JSC Polymetal UK Igor Finogenov signed the project on behalf of the company.

Group CEO of Polymetal Vitaly Nesis sent the following statement: “We welcome the EBRD’s involvement in the Kyzyl project as a significant and long-term lender at attractive commercial terms. This transaction also reinforces Polymetal’s commitment to sustainability by adopting the EBRD’s best practices on environmental and social issues for the development and subsequent operation of Kyzyl.”

Kyzyl is the second project signed under the new EBRD integrated approach to promote economic inclusion in the energy and extractive sectors in Kazakhstan, in cooperation with private and state companies and the government. Under this approach, approved by the EBRD Board of Directors in May 2017, the EBRD has allocated up to US$ 1 billion for those energy and natural resource projects in Kazakhstan that will help address systemic barriers faced by young people and women with regard to access to skills and employment.

In particular, the Bank and the companies which will receive financing under this approach will work with the government to review the list of 287 professions, mostly in heavy industries, that remain unavailable to women despite advances in technology. The partners will also support the development of a vocational training system in coordination with Kazakhstan’s national occupational skills standards by working with Kasipkor, the national skills standards authority.

Kyzyl is a large, world-class deposit with internationally recognised reserve estimates of 7.3 Moz (million ounces) of gold at an average grade of 7.7 g/t (grams per tonne) and a mine life of 22 years. The project is expected to produce more than 300 Koz of gold per annum and will be operated as an open pit mine during first 10 years.

Sergey Kwan