Eighteen companies have taken legal action against the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure Development (MIIR) due to the withrawal of their subsoil use rights. The ministry had terminated contracts for subsoil use and revoked licenses for solid minerals at the end of December. The decision by the ministry to revoke the licenses has left many companies in a difficult situation. The legal entities challenging the MIIR decision in court have not been named, but it has been confirmed that the Australian Fortescue Metals Group is not among them.
The revocation of subsoil use rights can have a significant impact on companies operating in the mining industry. These rights allow companies to extract and use valuable resources from the ground. The revocation of these rights can lead to financial losses for companies and can impact their ability to operate. It is not uncommon for companies to challenge decisions made by government departments in court when they feel their rights have been unfairly taken away.
The ministry’s decision to revoke the licenses and terminate contracts has caused confusion among some subsoil users. Some companies on the list have voluntarily returned their subsoil use rights to previously taken areas. However, individual subsoil users with multiple licenses were allegedly unable to determine which license was recalled as they were not informed. This lack of information has made it difficult for some companies to know where they stand and how to proceed.
The mining industry is an important sector in Kazakhstan’s economy, and any disruption to operations can have a significant impact. It remains to be seen how the legal action taken by the 18 companies will play out, and whether they will be successful in challenging the MIIR decision. In the meantime, the situation highlights the importance of clear communication between government departments and subsoil users to avoid confusion and uncertainty.