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Mining Equipment







2011 (est.)

Total Market Size






Total Local Production






Total Exports






Total Imports






Imports from the U.S.






In USD Millions. Source: The above statistics are unofficial estimates based on Kazakhstan customs data and industry sources.

Kazakhstan is endowed with a wide range of mineral resources including coal, ferrous metals, and non-ferrous metals. Because of this mineral wealth, it has a large mining sector and more than 230 separate enterprises which produce or process coal, iron and steel, copper, lead, zinc, manganese, gold, aluminum, titanium sponge, uranium, barites and many others. The sector is responsible for approximately 30% of export earnings, 16% of GDP, and 19% of industrial employment.

In 2010, Kazakhstan produced 103.5 million tons of coal and 105 million tons of coal in 2008, ranking it the world’s 9th largest producer. In 2009, coal production fell 12% to 93 million tons. The country is the 8th largest in iron ore reserves with 12.5 billion tons. The nation ranks second in manganese ore reserves with an estimated 600 million tons. Kazakhstan boasts 30% of the worldwide chromite ore deposits. The country is also a significant producer of beryllium, tantalum, barite, cadmium and uranium among the CIS. Kazakhstan is paying particular attention to developing its gold mining (ranked 10th globally) and uranium mining (25% of world reserves) as commodity prices rise, and will need to attract foreign investment in order to expand current production.

Much of the technology and management practices of this industry date from the Soviet times, which has hampered foreign sales. Exports of mining equipment to Kazakhstan have been limited by a lack of investment in this sector. In the mid-1990's, many foreign investors entered the country and started exploration and development activities, but, with few exceptions, they have ceased their operations. The investors claimed that lack of transparency, poor financial incentives, unclear and arbitrary laws which favor local investors, bureaucracy, and unclear land tenure made it impossible to continue their operations. The government, in turn, claims that many investors failed to deliver on promised commitments. As a result, under the current system, few foreign companies are willing to risk investment, with or without a local partner.

Best Prospects/Services

Taking into consideration the price increase for non-ferrous metals, gold, uranium and growing demand for coal in 2000-2007, Kazakhstan’s mining industry was developing rapidly. Due to the economic crisis, price decreases for non-ferrous metals, and decreasing demand for coal, local mining companies decreased capital expenditures and production as well in 2008-2010. Kazakhstan, however, remains an attractive market for U.S. mining equipment/machinery suppliers. American companies can provide needed products and services to Kazakhstani mining companies such as bulldozers, drilling equipment, explosives, trucks, drill rigs, trams, cranes, crushing and pulverizing machinery, dredges, hydraulic excavators, quarrying machinery and equipment, elevators, compressors, hammer mills, special trucks, etc. Among the best sales prospects and services are diamond drilling contractors and service providers that perform geological, geochemical and geophysical surveying; equipment involved in bulk sampling such as a processing plant; small aircraft; fuel supplies; and geological supplies like sample bags. American companies that can provide goods and services that address erosion, formation of sinkholes, loss of biodiversity, and contamination of groundwater and surface water by chemicals from the mining process and products, which may minimize the harm towards the environment, will also have significant demand in Kazakhstan. Explosives also present interesting export opportunities in the region.


More than half of Kazakhstan’s mining, processing, and smelting enterprises use outdated equipment that is often in need of repair. Almost all lack environmentally friendly technologies. Kazakhstan does not have its own mining machinery industry and relies heavily on Russian imports. U.S. mining equipment firms should explore trade opportunities in used and refurbished equipment, as well as turnkey project management. Demand in Kazakhstan for mining machinery grew 9% annually through 2008, but slowed in 2009 and 2010. U.S. mining equipment and service suppliers should target major players in the mining sector such as Kazakhmys, Eurasian Natural Resources (ENRC), TNK Kazchrome, KazakhGold Group, ShalkiyaZinc, KazAtomProm and others.

Kazakhstan’s new Accelerated Industrial Innovation Development Program (2010-2014) identifies the metallurgy sector as one of its priorities in the overall plan to diversify the economy and significantly increase the country’s GDP by 2015. Key projects in the sector include:

  • Construction of an ore mining and processing enterprise based on Aktogay and Bozshagol deposits, East Kazakhstan and Pavlodar Regions (2010-2014)
  • Construction of an ore mining and processing enterprise based on “SGPK” CA, Stepnogorsk city

Road Construction Equipment

The construction industry in Kazakhstan has been slowing down since 2007 and currently there is low demand for construction equipment. The government is interested in pursuing infrastructure development including roads renovation and construction in the region. With government plans to invest more than $4 billion for four major road construction projects, manufacturers of heavy earth moving equipment might find an alternative market to compensate for the sluggish mining industry. Another source of the financing will be International Finance Institutions such as the World Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Asian Development Bank (ADB), and Islamic Development Bank (IDB).