MINEX – 4th mining and exploration forum and expo, Kazakhstan

Honorable Vice-Prime Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great honor to participate in the MINEX – the most important mining conference and exhibition in Central Asia.

– The growing demand of metals and minerals is an opportunity for countries which are rich in mineral resources like Kazakhstan and Finland among others. And indeed the mining industry is expanding in both countries.

– Central Asia is one of the most important regions in the world for several mineral commodities. For example, Kazakhstan is the world’s leading producer of uranium. In addition, a number of exploration projects involving copper, gold, rare metals and uranium are going on indicating that the production will increase in the future.

– Currently Finland is the biggest gold producer in Europe. Finnish bedrock contains significant known deposits of many critical metals and minerals, and in addition, has considerable potential for the discovery of new resources. There are 12 metallic mines operating in Finland at present. Industrial minerals are extracted from 30 mines. The turnover of the mining sector is about 1.5 billion Euros. We have identified the sector’s strategic objectives in our mineral strategy to promote domestic growth and prosperity, offer solutions for global mineral chain challenges and mitigate environmental impact.

– The Finnish mineral cluster is comprised of three extractive sectors – the mining industry, aggregates industry and the natural stone industry. In addition, the cluster includes diverse fields of technology manufacturing: mining machinery, rock crushing equipment and ore processing technology as well as other process suppliers. Many new industries emerge from the cluster, such as exploration-stage drilling companies and assorted contractors that drill, explode and crush.

Green mining

– Environmental issues are getting more and more important in mining operations. The acceptance from the local society has to be earned. The mining industry needs to be ecologically, socially and economically sustainable.

– We believe that clean technologies and green mining concepts can provide solutions for these challenges.

– In Finland we define cleantech as products, services and processes that promote sustainable use of raw materials and reduce environmental impacts of the industrial processes.

– Finland is one of the leading countries in cleantech solutions according to several different benchmarks carried out during last couple of years. Our strongholds include energy efficiency, bioenergy and biobased products, but also sustainable mining industry and water treatment.

– We have more than 2000 cleantech companies with total turnover of 20.6 billion Euros.

– In Finland we launched The Green Mining Program in 2011. It is a 5 years development program co-financed by the industry, universities, research institutes and the government. 60 million Euros is being invested in development projects with the aim at creating new businesses areas for innovative, specialized expertise.

– The Green Mining concept includes five focus areas: 1) materials and energy efficiency, 2) availability of mineral resources for future needs, 3) environmental and social impacts, 4) work and organizational practices and 5) sustainable land use after mine closure.

– Finnish metal mines are technically demanding due to hard bedrock, underground mines and low ore grades. This has resulted advanced technology and high quality products, sophisticated ore processing procedures and therefore established global references.

– I am happy to hear Kazakhstan has co-operation with such global leaders in mining technology as Outotec and Metso.

– Outotec has developed several breakthrough technologies. For example flash smelting, originally developed by Outokumpu Company in 1949, still remains a flagship technology in smelting. Today Outotec’s offering covers the entire value chain of processing minerals and metals as well as life cycle services.

– Metso is a global supplier of technology and services to customers in the process industries. For the mining industry Metso offers equipment, service and maintenance including rock crushing, screening and conveying equipment and systems, grinding mills, and metal and solid-waste recycling.

– We have specialists in underground mining machinery and companies for heavy duty mining infrastructure like conveyors and stackers. There are also many small companies offering special technologies as imaging technologies and wireless solutions for exploration, process control, quality assurance and environmental measurements.

– Finnish universities and a number of Finnish companies have currently active research and development in management and purification of mine waters. Closed water systems are required to mining and mineral processing in order to reduce water discharges to environment and to reduce the use of fresh water.

– In addition to business based co-operation between Kazakstan and Finland there are also altruistic public sector co-operation projects related to mining. Geological Survey of Finland leads at present a project on geo-sector information management systems in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The project is funded by the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Training is the leading concept for the co-operation. The activities focus on scanning procedures, introduction of electronic library and archive practices and installation of equipment. The establishment of the Central Asian geoportal involving all three Central Asian countries has proceeded well and the first templates are ready.

– The mining companies operate in the global business environment. International contacts and co-operation are important for the success. This seminar and exhibition are an excellent opportunity to exchange experiences and ideas and discover co-operation possibilities.

I wish you all will have an interesting seminar and a rewarding exhibition.