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Launching the first phase of tin production in Kazakhstan

Sarymbet, a low mountain massif in northern Kazakhstan.

Since ancient times, tin has been very widely used in the domestic setting. People everywhere have used tin plates, cups and other utensils as part of their everyday life. Because of its high corrosion resistance and low toxicity, tin is made into cans for food packaging. Tin is also widely used in electrical engineering, electronics and chemistry. Today 60% of the tin consumed globally is used in the production of tin plate, 30% is used for alloys (including solder alloys), 7% for glass, and 3% for dishes.

Russian tin production is insufficient to meet the country’s demand. Only one third of the tin consumed in Russia is produced domestically, and two thirds are imported from abroad. The country’s share of global tin production is a mere 0.3%. The main problems are lack of feedstock due to depleted deposits.

Nevertheless, Russia is the only post-Soviet country which does produce and process this metal. All other countries in the region are fully dependent on imports from abroad, primarily China, Indonesia and Peru.

However, from 2012 the geography of supply and the situation generally began to change thanks to the construction of a tin production facility in Kazakhstan which will supply significant volumes of this metal to CIS countries, primarily Russia.

Central Asia’s largest tin deposit, Sarymbet, is located in the North Kazakhstan region. It is Kazakhstan’s only deposit and has reserves of 11 million tons of ore.

Sarymbet is a low mountain massif in northern Kazakhstan.

A mining and dressing facility is being built at the deposit encompassing the mine itself, an ore-dressing mill, and a metallurgical facility. In other words, the project involves the launch of a full production cycle, from ore mining and dressing to smelting. The capacity of this new facility will exceed 6,000 tons of metal tin per year. The total project cost is more than US $ 70 m.

EDB began financing this project in July 2010, signing a US $ 48.7 m loan agreement with Sarymbet JSC, the project operator, for up to ten years. The first tranche (to cover payments to the project designer) was paid in November 2010.

In its evaluation of the project the Bank was confident that Sarymbet’s production will fully meet Kazakhstan’s demand for tin and allow exports to other CIS countries, primarily Russia.

The facility was due to be commissioned in 2012. The design capacity will be achieved within a year of launch.

The project is strongly export-oriented and will have an import-substitution effect. In addition, it will enhance Kazakhstan’s economic diversification through the creation of a new sub-sector in the country’s non-ferrous metallurgy.

The project is being implemented within the framework of the State Programme for Accelerated Industrial and Innovation Development of Kazakhstan in 2010-2014.

Over this period, tax payments to the Kazakh budget from this producer will total approximately US $ 82 m. The facility will create 519 new jobs.

The project will boost mutual trade between the Bank’s member states. A significant proportion of equipment for the facility is being purchased from Russia; Russia will consume up to 85% of its output. The turnover between Russia and Kazakhstan over the ten years of the project will exceed US $ 830 m.

The construction work at the facility, supplies of equipment from Kazakhstan and Russia, and the supply of the output from the new plant to facilities, primarily in Russia, will generate additional production in the two countries worth tens of millions of dollars. According to the EDB’s estimate, this new facility will create around 3,500 new jobs in Kazakhstan and Russia over the next few years, including jobs in related industries.

EDB Member States

  • Russian Federation


  • Republic of Kazakhstan

    of Kazakhstan

  • Republic of Armenia

    of Armenia

  • Republic of Tajikistan

    of Tajikistan

  • Republic of Belarus

    of Belarus

  • Kyrgyz Republic