More than 2,389 delegates from 50 countries, 368 author speakers from 37 countries, 58 associations, 79 universities, including the delegations from Australia, Austria, Canada, Norway and France participated in its work.
Among the leading speakers there were such honored guests as Dean McPherson, Head of Global Mining of Toronto Stock Exchange (Canada), Torsten Gerlach, Head of the Mining Technology Division of ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions AG (Germany), Jukka Maksimainen, Head of the Mining Division of McKinsey & Company, James Matcher, EY Head of Mining Industry in Africa and the leading expert on digitalization in the mining industry and many others.
The First Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Askar Mamin opened the solemn ceremony dedicated to the start of work of the 25th World Mining Congress.
The key thread through all the speeches was the slogan of Congress “Innovative superiority is a step forward on the way to the growth of the world mining industry”. The Minister of Investments and Development of Kazakhstan Zhenis Kassymbek delivered a speech at the plenary session. “For Kazakhstan, the mining and metallurgy complex plays an important role in the development of the country’s economy. This sector ranks second in the structure of the country's economy after the oil and gas industry. The basis of development of the MMC is a rich mineral and raw materials base. Kazakhstan takes the 6th place in the world in terms of natural resources reserves, the 10th in terms of the total volume of mineral raw materials production (without oil and gas) and the third place in terms of mineral extraction per capita. The industry is represented on the world market of copper, uranium, titanium, ferroalloys and polymetals and has a significant impact on the regional iron, coal and aluminum markets”, - he said.
The Minister also highlighted that an important initiative was the introduction at the end of last year of a new code on subsoil and subsoil use to move to the West Australian model. The new code introduces the best international practices in providing transparent and understandable methods of state regulation of the industry, access to geological information, harmonization of national standards with global ones. This document is aimed at attracting foreign investors, including junior enterprises, which, as world practice shows, open more than 60% of new deposits.
For his part, Nikolai Radostovets, Executive Director of the Republican Association of Mining and Metallurgical Enterprises (AGMP), raised the issue of improving legislation in the sphere of subsoil use, drawing attention to the fact that this process goes in collaboration of business, government and society. As a result of joint work - in general the compliance of the tax legislation and subsoil use legislation with the requirements of the OECD.
A strong interest was expressed to the report of the Chairman of the Board of Directors of ERG A. A. Mashkevich.
“The World Mining Congress is the most important event that unites the leaders of the global mining industry and their main stakeholders. The discussions on future opportunities and challenges for the development of the world industry are held there. One of the main topics for discussion within the Congress is related to scientific research and innovations in the sphere of technology.
This is especially urgent for Kazakhstan against the backdrop of accelerated digitalization of the economy, where the MMC is entrusted with a role of the driver of transformation and production automation.
WMC is a platform for the exchange of experience. And now the experience of the leading mining and metallurgy companies of the world as: Posco, Vale, Rio Tinto, Severstal is instructive for us. After all, the sector faces a lot of open issues, which are solved with the help of digital solutions. These are reducing losses and downtime; increasing the depth of waste processing; increasing resource efficiency and others”, - he said.
Also from his report the Congress participants learned that ERG is considering the possibility of building a pilot plant in Kazakhstan for the utilization of CO2 and waste slurry (wastes of “Aluminum of Kazakhstan”) with the production of marketable products. We have already foreign investors who are ready to create a consortium with us and implement technology transfer within the framework of this project. Previously, this kind of technology was used only at a pilot plant in Botswana (Africa), and today technology developers are ready to consider construction projects in Kazakhstan. The study on the production of 3D powders from Kazakhstan alumina, which was successfully carried out using the direct reduction method without metallurgical treatment, will further allow us to create our own 3D components production.
“However, we should not that digital technologies pose certain threats: lack of competence, the release of certain professions, the outflow of talents. We must prepare for this and rebuild ourselves. The social aspect of future problems is global, as it concerns the lives of people. Their professions are replaced by robots and automation.
In view of this, we face two main problems – retrenchment of workers and the need for new competencies. This applies to all stages of production, sales, management.
Digital analytics and the emergence of machine learning today make us talk about changing the management school. We already see prerequisites for the emergence of new managers who will work independently with large data, machine learning and predictive analytics”, - noted Mr. Mashkevich.
During the press conference held after the plenary session, the participants of the Congress were able to find out what the real benefits to Kazakhstan’s mining and metallurgy industry are from holding the WMC, how significantly the industry contributes to the economy, what measures are taken locally to optimize and improve the efficiency of the country’s MMC in view of the unstable situation in the world market and how long it will take to introduce the standards of the “green economy”.
The important issue of staffing the MMC sector has not been ignored. Nikolai Radostovets, while responding to journalists’ questions, noted: “Today, within the framework of the World Mining Congress, we discussed the issues related to training of specialists. In Kazakhstan, for many professions that are in demand training is not provided. International experts say that we do not provide enough training for almost 98 professions. And we are going to remedy that situation. At the session “Personnel for MMC”, which will be held the day after tomorrow within the framework of the congress, we are planning to discuss for what professions it is necessary to train specialists at universities and colleges. We hope not only to receive recommendations, but also with the participation of the representatives of ministries to discuss what adjustments need to be made to the training and retraining programs in higher educational institutions and colleges. We also hope that after the World Mining Congress the youth will understand that the professions as a mining engineer, a metallurgist and a miner will be promising and important for many years to come”.
In the afternoon, the Congress participants attended the technical sessions, and also took part in a talk show.
In the framework of the session “Machine Building in MMC” the issues as the development of the modern production of quarry transport (on the example of BelAZ) were raised, new opportunities for production and repair of equipment for MMC, efficient methods of mineral raw materials enrichment, new technology for rope waste processing for the production of fiber-reinforced concrete, the use of mills for the mining industry and many other issues were discussed.
At the session “Underground Mining. Ore” the topics as the improvement and innovative development of technologies of roadway mining in Kazakhstan and the CIS, and exploration and maintenance of underground developments in seismic-tectonic active regions of Central Asia were touched upon.
At the session “Underground work. Coal” the Professor at the University of Tokyo Mogi Gento, made a presentation “The future of coal is another possibility of hydrogen production”, and the General Manager for Mining of Coal India Limited Singh Rajeev (India), on the example of his own company, shared how to effectively use the latest technology to provide sustainable development of the coal industry.
At the session “Safety and Health in the Mining Industry” the representative of the German Council for Road Safety Kay Schulte spoke about the program “VISION ZERO” - the Global strategy for the prevention of fatal and serious consequences associated with road accidents, analyzing practical experience in 25 countries.
The urgent topic “Safety and health in quarries” was raised by Gregor Hohenecker from AUVA - the General Directorate for Prevention (Austria) as well.
At the session “Open Mining Works” the topics of management of mineral resources in the systems of market subsoil use, as well as automation and innovations in equipment on open-cast mines were raised.
The First Vice-Minister of Investments and Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan Roman Sklyar, General Director of the Management Board of “Kazakhmys Corporation” LLP Bakhtiyar Krykpyshev, Global Head of London Stock Exchange (Great Britain) Robert Barnes, Vice President of ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions AG (Germany) Franz Wolpers, Vice President of JSW S.A. (Poland) Artur Dyczko and Chief Executive Officer of Yilmaden Holding (Turkey) Alp Malazgirt took part in the talk show. The speakers discussed investments and innovations, key drivers and areas of innovations in the MMC, analyzed the present day today and tried to look into the future.