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Project Case Study

Improving Kazakhstan’s rules for mining and petroleum

Redrafting the subsoil use code for greater sustainability

Kazakhstan’s legal framework was failing to realize the potential that mining and drilling could make to economic growth. So a project was launched to revise the Subsoil Use Code in order to improve governance of the sector, bring the Code in line with international good practice and ultimately attract more private investment. And, importantly, it could be redrafted to encourage the sustainable development of the petroleum and mining sectors.

A new legal framework for the mining and petroleum sector was part of the Government of Kazakhstan’s 100 steps for institutional reform.  Funded by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), ASI implemented this project alongside partner Lloyds Register, Senergy, with the goal of increasing the contribution of both the mineral and petroleum sectors to growth, improving governance, and attracting more private investment for the national development of Kazakhstan.

Project info

Development and Implementation of Subsoil Use Standards


  • April 2017 - December 2017

The project included a review of the existing legal framework and drafting a new Subsoil Use Code for the mineral and petroleum sectors to align with international standards. It included a roadmap for transition to the new Code; advising the Government of Kazakhstan Working Group, and developing educational materials, training of the trainer workshops, as well as an online platform to support the Government in effectively implementing the new Code.

ASI focused on the mining side of the project: project management support, legal analysis, alignment of new codes, roadmap, and training of trainers


  • Developed a draft Code for the Public Reporting of Exploration results relating to hydrocarbon resources and reserves as required by International Society of Petroleum Engineer’s Petroleum Resource Management System (SPE-PRMS) standards
  • Developed a road map for the transition from the currently GKZ standards for reporting of mining and petroleum exploration results, resources and reserves to the Standards
  • Conducted an analysis of international experience (Norway, Canada, Russia, etc.) on the transition to the Standards and role of the State in the process and after full implementation;
  • Provided advice on the technical and legal implications of the new Standards, alignment of the existing legislation with the new legal framework proposed, closing of existing gaps and a roadmap for the implementation of the legal and regulatory changes necessary to introduce the Standards
  • Assisted the Government’s Working Group to address comments from other government entities, industry, and the public at large, outline alternative approaches and good international practice
  • Developed guidelines for educational programs by specialised universities for training of Kazakhstani experts to prepare reports in accordance with the Standards
  • Developed methodology and designed “Training of trainers” workshops for the key deposit types within Kazakhstan for both mining and hydrocarbon projects
  • In accordance with best international practices advised on the content of the online platform with possibilities for remote training on use and application of the Standards, and online database of background information and resources.

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