The Ministry of Industry and Construction (MIC) published on its website detailed results of the December auction for exploration blocks within the framework of licenses issued by the department for the exploration of solid minerals. An inbusiness.kz correspondent studied the results of most trades.
Judging by the data presented, the greatest interest in terms of the size of the final subscription bonus was generated by the lot for two blocks, where Novus Trade won the auction. She offered a rather large sum of 619 million tenge for it, which was much more than the auction bid of the KazGeoExploration company of 562.8 million tenge.
By the way, in addition, Novus Trade won an exploration license for one block for 67 million tenge and two more blocks for almost 9 million tenge. Moreover, it became the winner in a competitive tender with the participation of four companies for 1 block, setting the final price at 11.2 million tenge. In these auctions, Novus Trade managed to beat Kazakhmys, Phoenix Mining and AvantEx, which offered lower auction steps of almost 9 million tenge, 4.6 million tenge and a starting price of 966,000 tenge, respectively. That is, in fact, Novus Trade spent more than 700 million tenge on all blocks received during the auction.
The second largest signing bonus for an exploration license for another lot was given by the company ES Mining Group – its quotation at the auction was stated in the amount of 422.8 million tenge, also for two blocks, which became the final size of the signature bonus.
The third most prized lot is the bid of Rio Tinto Exploration Kazakhstan for 173.7 million tenge for 130 blocks. Apparently, they are determined to continue geological exploration in Kazakhstan, despite many years of presence in the country without any high-profile discoveries. Therefore, the Kazakh subsidiary of one of the largest mining and metallurgical corporations in the world bought another 68 blocks at an auction organized by the Ministry of Industry for almost 22 million tenge in a fight with Kratos Resources, which offered 17.6 million tenge for these subsoil use rights.
In addition to Rio Tinto, the Australian company Fortesque, which previously returned licenses to the Ministry of Industry, continues to remain active in geological exploration in Kazakhstan. Its Kazakh subsidiary, Kazakhstan Fortescue, won two lots during the auction: one for 17 blocks for 100.5 million tenge, and the other for 28 blocks for a starting subscription bonus of 966 thousand tenge.
Based on the results of the auction, one can also note the activity of Kazakhmys, which won 11 of the more than 40 lots on offer for a total amount of more than 55 million tenge for 37 exploration blocks, which probably indicates a high readiness for big discoveries on the part of the team’s geologists Kazakhmys Barlau, which was created in 2018.
Also on the list of winners of the subsoil use rights tender are companies with little-known names that received licenses for a lot of money. So, for example, Golden Mouse Mining acquired the rights to 5 exploration blocks at an auction for 173.7 million tenge. Another subsoil user called Lakeside Minerals Limited paid 100.5 million tenge for 13 blocks – judging by the contact information, it is associated with the Aurora Minerals company, and the widely unknown Ali-Nur Zhane Company supplied 144.8 million tenge for 2 blocks. I am glad that investors value Kazakhstan’s mineral resources, which belong to the people, and give a good price to the treasury for them.
Let us recall that at the end of last year the Ministry of Industry reported that on December 20 an electronic auction was held for the right to explore solid minerals in 45 subsoil areas. As a result of the auction, signature bonuses amounting to 2.5 billion tenge were collected. Among the auction participants were such large companies as Rio Tinto, Fortescue, Kratos Resources, Cove Capital, Eczacibasi Holding, Kazakhmys, ERG Exploration and Kazgeology, the industry department specified.