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Kazakhstan Looks to Increase Gold Production by Opening Third Refinery

Kazakhstan, Central Asia’s largest economy, produced 16.6 tonnes of gold last year; however with the opening of a third gold refinery they plan to boost that output to 70 tonnes by 2015.

Tau-Ken Samruk, the state owned mining company, will be in charge of operating the refinery when it’s completed by the end of next year. The plant will cost $38 million to build and have a refining capacity of 25 tonnes of gold per year, which will allow the country to refine all the gold that it mines, rather than sending it abroad.

Albert Rau, the First Deputy Industry Minister, explained that “it will handle all of the gold that we currently ship abroad, mainly to Switzerland, for refining.”

The two existing refineries in Kazakhstan are owned by mining company Kazzinc, which refines gold ingot to international standards, and the copper mining company Kazakhmys, who refines gold to meet domestic standards.

Kazakhstan’s central bank has committed to purchasing all gold processed at the new refinery up until at least 2014/2015, in an attempt to increase its gold reserves. Bisengali Tadzhiyakov, the bank's deputy chairman, announced that the bank plans to increase the share of gold in its gold and foreign currency reserve from 14-15 percent up to 20 percent. The central bank wants to use the gold in order to reduce its exposure to the ever more unstable Euro.

By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com



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