16 Feb 2024 18:20

German consortium to develop lithium deposits in Kazakhstan

ALMATY. Feb 16 (Interfax) - German companies Knauf Gruppe, GP Gunter Papenburg AG, Roxtec, and the German Institute of Lithium (ITEL) have formed a consortium to develop and produce lithium in Kazakhstan, the Kazakh Industry and Construction Ministry said.

"Knauf Gruppe, GP Gunter Papenburg AG, Roxtec, and the German Institute of Lithium (ITEL) have teamed up to create a consortium. Their goal is to develop and produce lithium using deposits in Kazakhstan, which promises fresh opportunities for the country's lithium industry," according to the statement.

During a working visit to Germany, Industry and Construction Minister Kanat Sharlapayev met with Manfred Grundke, a member of the supervisory board of GP Günter Papenburg AG, where they agreed to establish a specialized working group to explore cooperation opportunities in lithium production and utilization.

"They also discussed the possibility of creating a roadmap, which will serve as the foundation for implementation of the discussed initiatives," the ministry said.

At the partnership forum between the European Union and Kazakhstan in Belgium, Erlan Galiyev, CEO of JSC National Geological Service, disclosed plans to explore lithium potential across three regions of Kazakhstan as part of the state geological survey. Galiyev emphasized the promising outlook for lithium, particularly in the mineralized brines of the Aral sedimentary basin, comparable to the renowned Salar de Atacama in Chile.

As of 2023, six deposits on the state balance sheet, including Yubileinoye, Verkhne-Baymurzinskoye, Bakenny, Akhmetkino, Medvedka, Akhmirovskoye, were identified as potential lithium sources. Galiyev mentioned significant reserves of lithium and rare earth metals in central and southern Kazakhstan, as well as eastern Kazakhstan.

Galiyev welcomed collaboration with foreign entities, encouraging interested parties to explore potential projects and pledging to facilitate favorable investment conditions.