«НА БАЗЕ ТОГО БОГАТСТВА, КОТОРОЕ ИМЕЕТ КАЗАХСТАН, МЫ МОЖЕМ СТАТЬ…»
«НАМ НУЖНО ВОЗРОЖДАТЬ ГЕОЛОГОРАЗВЕДКУ!»
«СЛАГАЕМЫЕ УСПЕХА: ДОСТУПНАЯ ЦЕНА + КАЧЕСТВО + НАДЕЖНОСТЬ»
Асетилла Кенжекулович ЖАНЫСБЕКОВ, директор компании «Нурстройсервис-НП» подтверждает делом, что строителям дана уникальная возможность – делать людей счастливыми.
МЫС АЛЫБЫНЫҢ ТҰҢҒЫШ ҚYРЫЛЫСШЫСЫ
МЫС АЛЫБЫНЫҢ ТҰҢҒЫШ ҚYРЫЛЫСШЫСЫ
# 1 (17) 2017
ПРАВИТЕЛЬСТВО ДЛЯ ГРАЖДАН
«Геология - это перспективно»
«Geology means opportunity»
«Біз геологиялык барлауды кайта жандандыруымыз керек!»
Тимур Кулибаев: «Нам нужно возрождать геологоразведку!»
Өңірлік бағдарлама бойынша алматы қаласында 3000 сауда орнын құру ұсынылды
В Алматы прошла ежегодная конференция предпринимателей
Совет ветеранов Казахстана отмечает
Давайте говорить о хорошем, и мир станет лучше!
«На базе того богатства, которое имеет казахстан, мы можем стать…»
Эффективные организации работодателей
Effective employers’ organizations
Алматинский электромеханический колледж: Кузница современных кадров
«Правительство для граждан»:
Размер пенсий и пособий увеличится
3D-printing: Перспективы развития в Казахстане
Рождение маленькой звездочки
В прокат вышел первый масштабный фильм, снятый в формате 3D
Birth of a new little star
Geology means opportunity
We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of Kazakhstan’s move to the international mineral reserves reporting system, the shortage of staff, and the problems and outlook for geology with Nikolai KAMENSKIY, director of Two Key engineering and consulting company.
Mr. Kamenskiy, today your company is one of the best consulting and engineering service providers for Kazakhstan’s mining and geological companies. Your business has grown from a small team of only four associates to a large company with more than 100 employees. How did you get there?
When I graduated from Kazakh Polytechnic Institute in 1991, there were 250 geologists and geophysicists in our class. Our graduating class was the first to receive uncommitted diplomas. At that time, there was already a major system-wide crisis that left a lot of talented geologists without work. That was when I came up with the idea of forming a team of associates and setting up a consulting company.
In the early days, 80% of everything my colleagues and I were doing was for the first time. This was mainly due to new laws and new business areas focused on market relations. However, our reliance on skill multiplied by our employees’ strong work ethic has paid off.
As a result, Two Key LLP is actively expanding its engineering, consulting and exploration activities. We have departments specializing in field geologic exploration, drilling, environmental audits and radioecology, and we also have in-house mineralogical and analytical laboratories. The latter has received national and international certification. Today, our laboratory can analyze more than 50 elements of the Periodic Table.
What projects does your company have in its portfolio?
We’ve recently been able to make real progress in many areas of our industry.
Two Key is currently in the process of designing one of the world’s largest uranium mines. We have successfully defended reports on reserve estimations for a total of more than 200,000 tons of uranium, 3 million tons of copper, 100 tons of gold, 70,000 tons of tungsten and 50,000 tons of molybdenum.
Over a period of six years, our exploration team has worked on uranium, gold, anthracite and polymetallic deposits, and has discovered several promising copper, tungsten, tin and polymetal structures on these sites.
Projects implemented by our company include open cast mining with output from several hundred thousand tons of ore per year to really big mines producing up to 20 million tons of ore per year. Just recently, we prepared and successfully approved an underground mining project. This is the first project for this type of mining, and we’re not stopping there.
Kazakhstan moved to the international mineral reserves reporting system and joined CRIRSCO with its own KAZRC standard in June 2016. What are the main differences in these systems, and what can we expect from these changes?
Both National Reserves Committee (GKZ) standards and the international standards have essentially the same objective: to confirm the reliability of reserves. However, we should be aware that the GKZ system is more developed and 50 years older that the most advanced standard in the CRIRSCO series.
It’s another issue that our system is not accepted in financial circles of the West on principle. I think this is deliberate. Imagine the following monologue:
Who signed the reserve estimate report for you? The chief expedition geologist? We don’t know him... If a Competent Person registered according to all the rules of international standards would have signed it, then of course we would consider this report. Where did you perform the analysis? In a laboratory operating according to national standards? No, we don’t trust it... But if you would have performed the analysis in an internationally accredited laboratory...
They don’t care that our chief geologists are usually better qualified that most present-day competent persons, or that our national standards are stricter than international accreditation.
A simple approach and based on a technicality. They won’t even consider these projects. I think all this is done in order to acquire the most assets for the least money. And if you want to sell your mining asset on the exchange, the approach will be something like this:
How much do you want for it? 33 million? No, we don’t trust you, although there might be something in it, we’ll buy it from you for half a million if you wish. No? You want 33? Do everything by international standards and then we’ll see.
Given this approach, of course we were right to move to international reporting standards. Now we can start talking to the international financial community in the same language, and you have to understand that this is only the beginning. Financial institutions will do everything possible to drive down prices and not pay the real price for our assets. What can I say? That’s the market for you.
There is obviously still much to do to make this institution work, and that includes endorsing our competent persons that we already have thanks to the formation of the Professional Association of Independent Experts in Subsurface Use (PONEN) in Kazakhstan. We need to advance our standard to international exchanges, and trust me, even though this standard is just about identical to JORC, this will be really difficult. I think we can say we’ve made real headway in this area only when international exchanges start allocating funds for construction and development of our projects signed by our competent persons. We have a long, hard road ahead of us.
Let’s discuss the pros and cons of moving to the new reserves reporting standards.
Moving to the new model has both advantages and disadvantages. The main advantage is that KAZRC will allow us to talk to the global market in a language they understand, and I hope this will help attract investors. Along with this, subsurface users will be less dependent on the government, because after moving to the new reporting system, the government will receive and unconditionally accept geological reports, including reserves reports prepared by competent persons. It will also not be entitled to reject them. It will be easier and faster for a subsurface user to decide whether to develop particular reserves by focusing on the project’s cost-effectiveness under specific economic conditions. This is really a leap forward in removing administrative barriers for mines that are already operating.
But this won’t make life much easier for a subsurface user. In the new system, you have to be much more cautious about choosing your consultants (competent persons). The old system had a code of strict rules and instructions and an independent expert assessment institution. As a result, the government recognized the reliability of resources signed by GKZ. Historically, GKZ was the government’s competent person, which at one time made recommendations to the government about whether or not to invest public funds in a particular project.
If GKZ declared reserves cost-effective and reliable, the State Planning Committee included this project in its development plan, and construction of mines, plants, and sometimes even cities started at these sites. If GKZ did not declare a project cost-effective, no one allocated funds for such projects. All international standards for public reserves reports include these principles of reliability and cost-effectiveness of reserves.
In the new system, everything comes down to risk and good faith of the owner of this site and the person who prepared this specific reserves estimation report, a competent person. There are no strict rules in this system, and everything is focused on the experience of specific competent persons. It’s a kind of game: I trust you –
I don’t trust you. No one peddles their services. It’s all on you: trust or don’t trust a specific person or specific company that you hired. If you want to verify what they’ve explored and estimated for you, then hire other competent persons and they will do the verification. If you want to sell a site, go to competent persons; if you want to buy, do the same.
“Novice” subsurface users are at high risk of losing their money. However, the risk for asset owners who are not involved in company management also increases, but the risk is different.
Most hired managers (specialists in any occupation) work for their employers temporarily and are usually dissatisfied with their pay. Their goal while they’re at a specific site is to make a name for themselves and then find higher paying jobs. Usually it is they who order unnecessary re-estimations of reserves in order to explain to their shareholders that in this case, they can only operate on high grade sections. And for a while, the shareholders even receive excess profit from their activities, pay them the corresponding bonuses, and then the “hangover” sets in. The managers have made a name for themselves, have been paid bonuses, and then they leave for a bigger company for higher pay. Meanwhile, the shareholders are left with a site where everything valuable has been mined out, the remains are a large amount of reserves with low cost-effectiveness, and the question is “what do we do with all this?”
International reporting systems mean both greater opportunities and greater risks. Looking back, the worst scams have been carried under the authority of international standards. But if you’re lucky enough to find real professionals who will make discovery reliably and competently, and will prove its credibility to everyone, you can easily join the club of billionaires, having spent relatively little money.
In any case, you have to realize that geology is a risk, like a kind of roulette. Even when all satellite images in the world and geological and geophysical maps show that there should be a prospect here, there might not be. Or it may be where you expected, but not quite what you wanted. So all geological exploration is done in stages; and after each stage you need to stop and ask some simple questions:
1. Are there grounds for continuing further work that is usually more expensive?
2. Have we done everything possible to prove that the prospect may be here/already here/definitely not here and it’s useless to search? Again, competent persons have to answer these simple questions (you have to realize that previously they were just called geologists and geophysicists with a lot of experience).
What are the prospects for exploration companies in Kazakhstan following the move to KAZRC?
I think that after all the trials they’ve been through, our geologists have learned to live and work in any conditions. That’s really nothing new. The ones who work successfully on this market, whether they are companies or individual specialists, have already adjusted and learned how to work under international standards.
Ultimately, it we don’t care which report we prepare: according to GKZ, KAZRC or other standards included in CRIRSCO. As I’ve said before, all standards have the same objective: to prove that the reserves in the report are reliable, and whether or not they are cost-effective to develop.
Today, when the market still hasn’t quite recovered from the crisis, everyone has problems with work; but as soon as the market “starts to stir”, and there are signs of this, I assure you there won’t be enough geological companies. The move to KAZRC is helping to heat up the market.
The market is also being revitalized by news from the Ministry of Investment and Development of the RK that publication of the new Subsoil Code will significantly simplify the procedure for granting license blocks for exploration. I think this is really the most important and best news. You can talk about any standards and argue about which one is best and which is worst, but if you look at the trends for granting subsurface use rights, it could be better.
After 1995-2002, when subsurface use rights actually were granted regularly, and there were regular tenders, the following happened.
A tender was announced in 2004, but the results of this tender weren’t published until 2007. Then, if I’m not mistaken, still another tender was announced in the same year at peak prices for oil and other minerals. This tender broke all records, and companies made insane bids, but the moment has been missed, and only about 20-25% of the tender winners actually signed contracts. All because the contract signing procedure dragged on, and during this time the market slumped and it became unprofitable to invest so much money in the proposed projects.
The next tender was announced in 2009, and then there was a moratorium that lasted until 2015. A successful auction was held in 2015, but there’s been nothing but silence since then. Although, we have to give credit to the Ministry of Investment and Development for trying to work out a “first come, first subsurface rights received” system in two territories.
Our country has already taken the first steps toward correcting this situation, and I hope everything will be accomplished this year.
In February of this year, the Ministry of Investment and Development presented a great concept for a Mining Code. What’s important now is to make this concept a reality. If the Subsoil and Subsoil Use Code comes out with the principles “first come, first contract”, if the fund of geological information becomes public and open, and if we remove other controversial points in the respective laws, everything will work out. Then Kazakhstan will challenge Chile, Canada, Australia and a lot of other countries on the investment market.
Wait and see, as soon as this happens, there will be a revival of geology in Kazakhstan, new discoveries, investments, IPO and jobs.
There is an acute shortage of skilled staff and geologists, among others, in Kazakhstan today. And if the market starts to boil again like it did 5-7 years ago, we won’t have enough specialists to implement our companies’ projects. What do you think is the solution to this problem?
Today it is difficult to find even a good plumber. As for geologists, I think they already should be listed in the Red Book. There are hardly any geologists left who specialize in exploration survey and regional work. Thankfully, there are still specialists in prospecting and exploring of fields, but not many. The connection between generations has been broken. People who have a lot of field experience and academic education and who discovered fields are all over 70, over 60 in the best case, and young people aren’t going into geology. And who will, when you have go to a place without infrastructure where it’s often really cold or scorching hot, where sometimes there is work and sometimes not? They can easily earn the same money that’s offered now somewhere else, sitting in a warm place, and not straining themselves particularly.
Exploration here has simply ”shut off” for 20 years. For a time, a once-flourishing and high-tech industry has turned into small disconnected businesses that survive any way they can. The generation gap among geologists is more than 20 years.
Of course, we’re training young staff to the best of our abilities. Our company takes students for training after 3-4 years. We offer internship to students from both Kazakhstan and Russia. At our education center, we carry out successful training programs using both our own specialists and our company’s partners. A few more exploration companies in Kazakhstan also recruit young talent, but you can count them on the fingers of one hand. I’m not counting our large production companies, because of course they hire young specialists. However, these companies are not involved in prospecting and exploration. They hire geologists as mining geologists, and there’s a huge difference. Mining geologists generally don’t look for new fields; they have enough work at their own fields. I think the staffing problem has to be solved with government support and through promotion. There isn’t enough systematic work to improve the image of technical professions. For example, where are the films that make you want to become a geologist, builder, steel worker or miner? How many young people know that by choosing this work they can fulfill their potential, and be well-off without worrying about tomorrow? Of course, along with this, we need to focus on training of specialists in the country’s colleges and universities, and set up a transfer of experience between generations.
In your opinion, what is Two Key’s competitive advantage? What are your medium-term objectives?
Professionalism and the ability to shift back and forth between various tasks. Our company’s employees aren’t tied to any narrow field, and a regular change of activity enables good exchange of experience and knowledge. Our specialists are experts at their jobs, who have a lot of ideas, like how, what and where to improve, and a lot of creative suggestions that give our partners and customers significant benefits.
We keep all of our promises by making projects a success – this is one of the key principles of Two Key’s business. Thanks to this principle, we maintain long-term relationships with all our clients.
Irina ALEX, Evgenya SKALEY
The office is in Almaty, 258 B Tlendiev St.
Telephones: +7 /727/ 302 64 11, +7 /727/ 303 43 26
МАТЕРИАЛЫ, КОТОРЫЕ МОГУТ БЫТЬ ВАМ ИНТЕРЕСНЫ
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АРХИТЕКТУРА И СТРОИТЕЛЬСТВО
Республика Казахстан, 050026, г. Алматы,
Тел.: +7 (727)233 50 42
Моб.: +7 702 765 20 00
+ 7 777 276 64 32
Издается с января 2014 г.
Зарегистрирован в Министерстве культуры и информации Республики Казахстан. Регистрационное свидетельство №15904-Ж от 25.03. 2016 г.
Собственник и издатель – ИП «Костина И.А.»