The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has approved a syndicated loan of $350m to the Kazakh mining company JSC ShalkiyaZinc.

The funding will be used to expand Shalkiya zinc and lead mine in the Kyzylorda region, in addition to building new processing plant at the site.

According to EBRD, the loan is in line with the bank’s strategy of supporting inclusive economic development in Kazakhstan’s remote regions.

ShalkiyaZinc has signed a loan agreement with EBRD in Astana as Expo 2017, which will work on sustainable energy and development.

Through the national mining firm Tau-Ken Samruk, ShalkiyaZinc is currently owned by Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna.

The EBRD-supported development project will draft the plans for a possible privatization of the mine in line with the privatisation initiative launched by the Kazakh government in 2015.

EBRD energy and natural sources managing director Nandita Parshad said: : “This is an excellent example of the continuing fruitful cooperation between Samruk-Kazyna and the EBRD.

“Joining our efforts and expertise will help to prepare the successful privatisation of ShalkiyaZinc. We look forward to the successful impact of the project on the region, especially the creation of jobs and new opportunities for women in the sector.”

Samruk-Kazyna management board chairman Umirzak Shukeyev said: “The development of one of the world's largest lead and zinc deposits, Shalkiya, will significantly contribute to the implementation of the new programme of industrialisation in Kazakhstan.”

Till now, EBRD has invested around €7.2bn Kazakhstan, helping the country to have a resilient and diversified economy. 

Image: EBRD has a $350m loan to expand Shalkiya zinc and lead mine in the Kyzylorda region. Photo: courtesy of European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.