The ERG Exploration Company (a subsidiary of ERG) will be engaged in geological exploration on 2,800 hectares in the Aktogay District of the Karaganda Region.
“The Akimat (local government) of the Aktogay District resolves: 1. To establish a public servitude (limited right to use someone else’s land) until August 23, 2029, without expropriating the land from the owners and land users of the limited liability company ‘ERG Exploration’ for a land plot with a total area of 2,813.7667 hectares for mineral exploration, as specified in the annex to this resolution,” states the draft resolution of the Aktogay District Akimat in the Karaganda Region, posted for public discussion.
The majority of the land is part of the district’s land fund – 1,232.5 hectares, while the remaining lands belong to the “Dauletbek” farm – 712.3 hectares and the “Beksultan” farm – 868.9 hectares.
The General Director of ERG Exploration, Azamat Shalabayev, informed journalists at a geologists’ congress about plans for exploring new areas in the republic.
“We have a large program for digitizing geological material archives. We have created separate groups for specific directions, which are separately searching for our profile metals – searching for chrome, manganese, and there are groups dealing with other metals, including copper, polymetals, as well as RM (rare metals) and REM (rare earth metals). So, we will be searching in this direction, and the management sets us the task of finding new metals that are not typical for our group,” he said.
Shalabayev reminded that on August 1, the company won the right to explore a copper area in Northern Pri-Balkhash at an auction, paying more than 420 million tenge. Geological research was carried out there during the Soviet era, and later jointly by Rio Tinto and “Kazgeology.” The area was studied to a depth of 200 meters. The study showed estimated resources of up to 200,000 tons of copper, but with a low metal content in the ore – 0.2-0.3%. ERG plans to study the area to a depth of 700 meters in hopes of finding valuable minerals.
The British-Australian company Rio Tinto conducted geological exploration, searching for copper in the Korgantas and Balkhash-Saryshagan areas in the Karaganda Region since 2015. However, the geological exploration of Korgantas did not yield significant results, so the subsoil use contract was terminated.
ERG’s ultimate owners are the Ministry of Finance – 40%, Alexander Machkevitch and the Ibragimov family – 20.7% each, and Patokh Shodiev – 18.6%. Alexander Machkevitch, Patokh Shodiev, and the family of the late Alijan Ibragimov (the spouse of Mukadas Khan Ibragimov and four sons, Dostan, Davron, Shukhrat, and Furkhat) became the first dollar billionaires in Kazakhstan according to Forbes in 2005 with a capital of $1 billion each. Later, Alexander Machkevitch and Patokh Shodiev changed their citizenship from Kazakhstani to Israeli and Belgian, respectively. The Chairman of the Board of Directors and a major shareholder of Eurasian Resources Group, Alexander Machkevitch, was ranked sixth among the richest Israelis with $3.7 billion in Forbes’ rating last year.