Kazakhstan - General Information
Territory: The territory of Kazakhstan covers 2,724,900 km2. It is the second largest country in the CIS and the world's 9th largest after Russia, China, the USA, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, India and Australia. Kazakhstan is bigger than the twelve countries of the European Union.
Land boundaries: Kazakhstan has borders with China, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and the Russian Federation. In total the border covers 12,187 km.
Kazakhstan stretches over 3,000 km (and two time zones) from the low lands of the Volga in the West to the foothills of the Altai mountains in the East and for some 2,000 km from the west Siberian lowland in the North to the desert of Kyzylkum and the Tien Shan mountain range in the South.
The northernmost point in Kazakhstan - 55'26'' NL - is level with the south of the East-European plain and the south of the British Isles (Moscow). As to the most southerly point - 40'56'' NL - is in line with Trans caucasian and Mediterranean countries of Southern Europe (Madrid, Istanbul and Baku).
Population: The population of Kazakhstan is 15m (01.01.2005) with a density of 5.5 people per 1 km2.
Capital: The capital of Kazakhstan is Astana (since December 10, 1997) with a population of 528,000 people.
Administrative and Territorial Structure: Kazakhstan has 14 administrative regions, 84 cities, 159 districts, 241 towns and 2,042 aul (rural villages).
Language: Kazakh is the official language. State institutions and local administration also use Russian.
Currency: The currency is the Tenge which is equal to 100 tyins. It was introduced on 15th November 1993. More about Kazakh currency...
Natural Resources: Steppes occupy some 26% of the territory, deserts (44%) and semi-deserts (14%) with forests occupying 21,000,000 ha.
The flora and fauna include 155 species of mammals, 480 species of birds, 150 species of fish and about 250 species of medicinal plants including the very rare Santonica that grows nowhere else but in the South of Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan is rich in commercial minerals including the world's largest reserves of chromium, vanadium, bismuth and fluorine as well as leading deposits of iron, chrome, lead, zinc, tungsten, molybdenum, phosphorite, copper, potassium and cadmium.
There are nearly 160 deposits of oil and gas including one of the largest deposits of the world, the Tenghiz field. These contain about 20,000,000,000 barrels of oil and 700,000,000 ton of gas condensate, reserves equivalent to the resources of the whole of the Western Europe of a value of about USD 4 bn.
Kazakhstan has coal reserves 160 million tons in 155 deposits including 10 coal fields of bituminous and brown coal.
The country's iron ore resources (containing 50-60% of pure iron) are some of the best in the world.
Kazakhstan has the world's second richest phosphorite reserves (after Russia) the phosphorite deposits of Zhanatas and Karatau are second to none in the world in terms of thickness and quality.
Kazakhstan is also a world-leading producer of aluminum.
There are extremely good reserves of copper ore. The Zhezkazgan ore deposits are the second largest in the world by potential.
Kazakhstan has enormous resources of salt and construction materials.
Prospected deposits are a good basis to develop mining, coal-mining, metallurgy, oil-and-gas and chemical industries.
Kazakhstan's share in the world output of commercial minerals and products of procession (according to estimates of the Union Bank of Switzerland) in the days of the late USSR amounted to the following: Beryllium - 24%, Zinc - 7%, Tantalum - 33%, Titanium - 26%, Chrome - 27%, Copper - 3%, Barite - 7%, Molybdenum - 3%, Lead - 7%, Bauxite - 1%, Uranium -14%, Manganese - 5%, Silver - 6%, Iron ore - 2%, Tungsten - 12%, Gold - 1%.
Climate: The remoteness of the country from oceans and the vastness of its territory determine its climatic conditions. The climate is a harsh continental one with average temperature in January between - 19 and -4o C and in July between + 19 and +26o C. In winter the temperature may go down to - 45o C and in summer up to + 30o C.