Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 132

Some of the ex-USSR’s largest mining and processing enterprises in the nonferrous metallurgical sector, located in the East Kazakhstan region, will soon be taken over by Western companies. Visiting that region yesterday, President Nursultan Nazarbaev announced that the Leninogorsk polymetallic and the Ust-Kamenogorsk and Zyrian zinc and lead complexes are about to be turned over to a Swiss-based multinational and to a Spanish company. Another Western firm will take over the Ulba rare-metals complex, whose output includes tantal and nyobium-based products for nuclear power plants and the military industry. According to Nazarbaev, the Western companies will pay those enterprises’ tax arrears to the state budget and wage arrears to the workforce and will modernize and expand production capacities. The investment commitment for the zinc and lead enterprises amounts to $420 million for the next three years. Nazarbaev also stressed "social significance" of these investments for the ailing enterprises and the unemployment-plagued region. (Russian agencies, July 7)

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