Working toward the establishment
of commercial gold production

Kazakhstan

Overview

Kazakhstan is the world's ninth largest country covering an area of 2.7 million km2 and contains vast amounts of untapped mineral wealth. It is roughly one quarter the size of Canada (10.0 million km2) or approximately 30% of the size of the United States (9.4 million km2). This huge untapped resource base has drawn immense foreign investment interest to Kazakhstan. Given this large interest, Kazakhstan is taking its place in the world as a modern nation, despite it being a relatively new sovereign state.

In 2011, Kazakhstan is celebrating its 20th anniversary of independence. Throughout its development, the country has been focused on a gradual shift to liberal economic policies resulting in huge economic growth. In terms of economic development, Kazakhstan has forged well ahead of most former Soviet Union countries.

Political Regime

Kazakhstan is a Presidential Republic. As a Republic, Kazakhstan has a President as the Head of State. The leader of the government is the Prime Minister who is responsible for the day-to-day activities of running the country.

The Prime Minister, the individual Ministers and oblast Akims (regional governors) are all appointed by the President. The Government of Kazakhstan functions with an upper and lower house - the upper house being the Senate and the lower house being the Majhalis.

Kazakhstan has made significant progress towards creating a market economy since its independence in 1991. In 2000, Kazakhstan was granted market economy status and in 2002 became the first country in the Former Soviet Union to receive an investment-grade rating from a major international credit rating agency.

Kazakhstan's economy has performed strongly over the last several years with a real GDP growth averaging approximately 10 percent a year since 2000.

The legislation in Kazakhstan (written with the assistance of international organizations) is very advanced compared to other former Soviet Union Confederation of Independent Sates ("CIS") countries. Key accomplishments include:

  • the first tax and civil code in the CIS
  • progressive corporate and commercial legislation
  • republic is investment grade rated
  • in the process of joining the World Trade Organization

Religion and Population

There are two main religions in Kazakhstan, the Muslim and Russian Orthodox which account for 47% and 44% of the country's population. The remaining 9% are accounted for by various other religious denominations.

As of 2011, approximately 16.2 million people lived in Kazakhstan with approximately 56% living in the urban areas and the remaining 43% living in the rural areas.

Currency and Exchange Rate

The Tenge is the national currency of Kazakhstan and floats against other currencies such as the United States Dollar, the Euro and the Russian Ruble. The exchange rate of the Tenge has been relatively stable over the past few years.

Taxation

Kazakhstan's tax code is perhaps one of the most comprehensive in the CIS. It is straight-forward and establishes a comprehensive tax regime that is fairly modern and easy to administer. The Tax Code includes detailed filing and reporting requirements.

Accounting Standards

Starting from January 1st, 2006 in its efforts to move to " westernize" its economy, Kazakhstan required that all companies report their financial statements utilizing International Financial Reporting Standards.

Infrastructure

Many of the services required for exploration and mining, including low-cost electrical power, are readily available in Kazakhstan. The country has a skilled work force well trained in exploration and mining.

Resources

Second only to Russia in territory, Kazakhstan is one of the major mineral producing republics of the former Soviet Union. The country has large resources in a wide range of minerals, including gold. Kazakhstan ranks in the top 10 for coal, iron and gold. It has the second largest uranium, chromium, lead and zinc reserves. In 1999 Kazakhstan adopted new mineral development legislation which addressed many of the concerns of foreign mineral companies working in the country.