One of Kazatomprom's main environmental objectives is to protect biodiversity and ensure the rational use of natural resources in the areas of its operations. After completion of mining at the deposits, the Company is fully responsible for the implementation of a set of measures to eliminate the consequences of uranium mining. There are no nature reserves or other specially protected natural sites on the territory of Kazatomprom's uranium deposits. At the same time, the Company makes efforts to study the state of flora and fauna in the territory of uranium deposits to preserve the existing biodiversity.
Since 2019, as part of the ESAP Roadmap implementation, Kazatomprom has been actively working to determine the level of impact of mining operations on habitats, vegetation, and protected animal species.
Kazatomprom’s contribution to Non-Deforestation
Natural ecosystems and forests are crucial for a healthy environment and productive supply chains. They represent the main source of biodiversity, play a significant role in conserving critical habitats, supporting livelihoods, and provide an important carbon sink.
Though uranium mining is often associated with certain landscape alterations that may occasionally lead to vegetation removal, Kazatomprom primarily operates in non-forest or less forested areas and its direct impact on forests is limited. Thus, Kazatomprom operates 26 mine deposits prevailing majority of which are located in the South Kazakhstan region - the areas of predominantly semi desert steppe. Only 8 out of 26 deposits are located in the areas, which are deemed a forestry area due to sporadic presence of saxaul. Kazatomprom operations are run in a strict compliance with the Forestry Code and Ecological Code of Kazakhstan, which do allow for operations in the forestry areas provided the required volume of compensatory planting is employed in a timely manner. Thus, in November 2020, NAC Kazatomprom JSC and Zhasyl Aimak municipal public institution signed an Agreement for compensatory planting and maintenance for a total amount of KZT 1,3 billion. The total planned area of planting is 7241 ha, including 1158 ha of deciduous trees, 2316 ha of saxaul seedlings and 3766 ha of saxaul seeds.
In May 2021, Karatau LLP and Zhasyl Aimak MPI signed contracts for compensatory planting for a total amount of over KZT 2 billion. The total planned area of planting for Karatau LLP is 2654 ha, including 424 ha of deciduous trees, 850 ha of saxaul seedlings and 1380 ha of saxaul seeds. We also plan to conclude a similar contract on compensatory planting between JV KATCO LLP and Zhasyl Aimak MPI for a total planting area of 11830 ha, including 1906 ha - deciduous trees, 3813 ha - saxaul seedlings and 6111 ha - saxaul seeds.
Kazatomprom recognizes the continuing global challenge associated with deforestation and will aim to minimize deforestation arising from its activities.