Background to the legislative obligations
Details of the requirements of Kazakh legislation are set out below.
In 2007, the Ecology Code came into force in Kazakhstan and it combined all main regulations related to ecology issues into one document, including duties and responsibilities of the authorized state bodies and of nature users as well as requirements on protection of natural resources. The Ecology Code requires that development activities and projects, which have direct or indirect impact on the environment and socio-economic issues, are subject to the Environment and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) process. The ESIA process includes the evaluation of the impact on the environmental and social issues over the life of the project and requires that studies should establish baseline prior to commencement of works with regular update and review throughout the project's life. Monitoring of environmental and social impacts is required and is regulated by the terms of the licence and by periodic regulatory inspection by the authorities to ensure compliance. Emissions and other limits are set for a number of parameters such as water quality, air quality, soil quality, dust noise and vibration. The regulatory authorities expect and require full compliance with the achievement and fulfilment of all environmental limiting indices and licence requirements and any non-compliance or violations may lead to severe consequences, including cessation of operations and judicial penalty.
The international EIS and SIA preparation which has been carried out by Altyn are in addition to the statutory requirements of the Kazakh codes. Altyn has completed these studies to ensure that best practice methods are achieved at their operations. All new and/or additional operations acquired or taken up by Altyn will be conform to the standards adopted and being put in place at Sekisovskoye.
The regulatory framework provided by the government of the Republic of Kazakhstan is relevant to our approach to stakeholder engagement. In this context, it is important to note that the government of Kazakhstan has ratified the UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, also known as the Aarhus Convention. The Aarhus Convention requires the government to grant the public rights regarding access to information on the environment, including information on the environmental impacts of corporate activities, access to which is available only to the relevant environmental authority. This ecological information should be provided in advance to any affected party.
Accordingly to the legal regulations information disclosure and dissemination, as well as public consultation, are a part of the development process, especially if the project impacts the environment.