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Vice-Chancellor accompanies PM on high profile business mission to Kazakhstan

Professor Sir Steve Smith left the UK yesterday, accompanying Prime Minister David Cameron and a delegation of business leaders on an intensive two day trip to Kazakhstan designed to promote the UK’s expertise in the energy and mining sectors.

Kazakhstan is a huge country the size of Western Europe, with vast mineral resources and enormous economic potential.

It is amongst the 20 largest oil producers in the world. It is rich in natural resources, including minerals, gas, and heavy rare earth metals (HRE).

The Vice-Chancellor is representing the world renowned Camborne School of Mines (CSM), part of the University of Exeter, which has been training geologists and engineers for almost 120 years. Founded in 1888, CSM now has a unique combination of scientific and engineering expertise in geology, mining and minerals processing and applies this to world-leading research and teaching.

The delegation will attend back-to-back events hosted by Lord Green, Minister of State for Trade and Investment, involving more than 100 Kazakh companies, and senior Kazakh representatives. Sir Steve is particularly focussing on creating local partnerships, developing skills, knowledge transfer, and education and training to support Kazakhstan’s industrial development.

Commenting on the trip Sir Steve said: “We are extremely proud of the world class expertise we have at the Camborne School of Mines and think that these skills could be of real use to the future engineers and geologists of Kazakhstan. We also have an excellent research capability which is already undertaking work in the region; this is another area where further collaboration between us could produce significant breakthroughs.

“The University currently attracts a number of Kazakh students each year who predominantly study at the Business School or take our Masters course in Public Administration. We would like to welcome more students and encourage them to come to our world famous mining school as well.”

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Date: 1 July 2013

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