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Kazakhstan to Double Metals Output Within Five Years (Update1)
Feb 1,2010 09:11CST
industry news

Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Kazakhstan, the largest oil producer in Central Asia, must double metals production and exports within five years, President Nursultan Nazarbayev said.

The government has attracted a total of $20 billion in investment outside the natural-resources sector from China, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, France, Italy and Russia, said Nazarbayev, who has ruled Kazakhstan for two decades. Investment in natural resources exceeds $10 billion, he said in a televised address to the nation.

Kazakhstan cut copper production last year by 7.5 percent from 2008 to 0.4 million tons, according to the Astana-based State Statistics Agency. Rolled iron output increased 5.5 percent to 3 million tons, while ferroalloys were down 7.6 percent to 1.5 million tons, the agency said.

Kazakhmys Plc, Kazakhstan's largest copper producer, and Eurasian Natural Resources Corp., the world's largest producer of ferrochrome on a chrome-content basis, have sought funds from China for new smelters and mines.

The economy of Kazakhstan, which holds 3.2 percent of world oil reserves, expanded 1.1 percent last year, after growing 3.2 percent the year before, the government said. Four Kazakh lenders defaulted last year and seek to reorganize $20 billion of debt.

Nazarbayev said he'll limit use of the National Oil Fund for government spending to $8 billion a year in order to more than triple the fund to $90 billion in a decade. Money from the fund must be spent primarily on industrial development, he said.

Kazakhstan plans to implement 162 industrial projects at a cost of 6.5 trillion tenge ($43.9 billion), Nazarbayev said, without elaborating.

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