Kazakhstan to Impose Social Obligations on Uranium Producers

Kazakh uranium producers are offered to contribute to the socio-economic development of the region if there is a significant increase in the volume of deposits. This standard is included in the draft law “On Amendments and Addenda to the Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On Subsoil and Subsoil Use” on Uranium Mining”.

Iryna Unzhakova, a Senator of the Republic of Kazakhstan, commented on the draft regulation

“Article 173, which regulates the conditions for extending the uranium mining period, stipulates that if resulting additional exploration and assessment of resources, the increase in the deposit is 30% or more of the initial volume, the subsoil user’s contract must include commitments to implement a socio-economic project in the region,” said Unzhakova on 18 February during the draft law presentation.

Unzhakova reminded that since 1 January 2019, the Tax Code canceled payment of the commercial detection bonus in the amount of 1%. Commercial exploration means mineral resource discovered within the contract area and which is cost-effective for extraction.

“Currently, with the growth of reserves, a subsoil user does not make payments that were previously used for the social needs of the region. Therefore, we consider it fair to impose social obligations when a significant increase in the deposit is identified,” added the senator.

According to Unzhakova, the draft law proposes to impose on subsoil users the obligation to eliminate the consequences of uranium mining. “I want to note that such a practice exists, but in the draft law it is given a mandatory legal status, due to the fact that it is directly related to ensuring radiation safety for both the public and the environment,” she said.