Kazakhstan, the second largest energy producer in the ex-Soviet Union after Russia, is seeking to spur growth by drawing in overseas investors to its resources sector.
The country, in the midst of fine-tuning details of a new mining law that will make it easier for foreigners to tap the nation’s riches, plans to award 50 to 100 exploration licenses beginning next year, Bloomberg reported.
Growth, shows a study by Business Monitor published last month, will be led by the coal, gold and copper sectors, which together account for the majority of the value of the Central Asian nation’s mining industry, expected to reach close to $30 billion by 2017.
Despite the slump in prices, coal remains one of the core industries for Kazakhstan, employing around 40,000 people only in the mineral-rich province of Karaganda.
Kazakhstan, the world’s largest landlocked country by land area, is also said to rank in the top ten for iron, and gold, it’s a well-known diamonds exporter and holds the 11th largest proven reserves of both petroleum and natural gas.