The President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev signed the Code "On Subsoil and Subsoil Use", according to information received from Press Service of the head of state.
The document provides for introduction of international system of natural resources calculation standards and a simplified method for conclusion of subsurface use contracts and aims to systematize norms of legislation in the field of subsurface use to improve investment attractiveness of the industry.
As reported, new Code provides for the state's priority right to extract uranium by means of national company “Kazatomprom”, while the share of national company in joint ventures should be at least 51%.
"Uranium is a strategically important raw material for Kazakhstan, where adequate measures should be maintained for mining control, development of uranium deposits demanding rationality. This is the main reason why uranium was selected among general list of solid minerals and a separate section is dedicated to it," – as vice-minister Makhambet Dosmukhambetov noted earlier.
Another innovations of the Code are introduction of Australian model for granting subsurface use rights based on the principle of "first come - first received", transition to international system for natural resources calculation, geological information assurance, development of program for management of state fund of subsurface resources, regulation of uranium and coal bed methane development, intensive extraction of mineral resources.
It will also simplify the procedure for granting subsurface use rights in the field of solid minerals through licensing, significance of environmental and industrial safety during performance of subsurface use operations, promotion of investments in solid minerals processing sector, transfer of issues for regulation of ground water production into water legislation.
In addition, the document is aimed at stability assurance of subsurface use conditions through establishment of relevant provisions in regulations governing the content of licenses and contracts. The document also defines objects related to subsurface use right, and cases which do not require permission of competent authority to transfer subsurface use rights and objects associated with it.
The definition "common mineral resources" is introduced instead of the term "basic construction materials", the list of mineral resources related to common ones is specified.
Liability for violation of obligations, stipulated by the license and subsurface use contract, is established. Licensing procedures norms and other issues are clarified when applying for license receipt for exploration and production of solid minerals.
The president also signed concomitant amendments to some legislative acts on subsurface use issues.