Kazakhstan may lift moratorium on mineral licences

ASTANA Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:45am GMT

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ASTANA (Reuters) - Resource-rich Kazakhstan may scrap a moratorium on issuing licences for new mineral deposits, which has been in place for several years, President Nursultan Nazarbayev told a meeting of the country's regional bosses.

"The moratorium on deposits should be lifted ... so that the regions would be able to attract investments," he said on Wednesday.

Companies including global miner Rio Tinto (RIO.AX) and London-listed ENRC ENRC.L have grown frustrated at red tape encountered seeking to establish a presence in Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan's uranium reserves are second only to Australia's. The former Soviet republic, central Asia's biggest economy, also holds the world's largest chromium reserves and substantial bauxite, copper, iron ore and zinc deposits.

(Reporting by Raushan Nurshayeva; Writing by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Dan Lalor)

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