Voskhod Chromium

Location:

Kazakhstan

Project number:

46873

Business sector:

Natural resources

Notice type:

Private

Environmental category:

B

Approval date:

28 Jan 2015

Status:

Cancelled

PSD disclosed:

14 Nov 2014

Project Description

In 2015 the EBRD provided a loan of up to US$130 million as part of a US$260 million A/B facility in favour of Yildirim Group's subsidiaries in Kazakhstan. Through these subsidiaries Yildirim owns and operates the Voskhod mining complex, acquired in December 2013.

The Bank is commiting up to US$ 29 million in additional funds to the project to ensure achievement of the original operation objectives.

The Voskhod operation consists of an active underground chromium mine and associated beneficiation plant situated outside the town of Khromtau, an important mining district situated 90km east of Aktobe, in North-Western Kazakhstan.

Project Objectives

The Bank's finance is used:

(i) to restructure the balance sheets of subsidiaries and the parent group including through repayment of short term loans; and

(ii) to finance the capex programme for the years 2014-2016 which covered acquisition of certain equipment  and other works.

Transition Impact

ETI score: 60

This is the Bank's first project in chromium ore mining. The project is a rare example of private cross-border transaction between two of EBRD countries of operations in the resources sector. The project will support the expansion of Yildirim Group, a Turkish mining group, in Kazakhstan. The entry of Yildirim Group could have an impact on the competitive landscape of the chromium sector in the region, a market which is pre-dominantly controlled by one local company.

Through the project there is scope for improvements in the managerial and business skills as well as environmental and operating standards to Voskhod's mine operation. For example, part of the capex includes implementation of a new chromium ore fines recovery circuit which will increase yields significantly and enable the reprocessing of waste tailings. This is a new processing technology being introduced for the first time in the mining sector in the country that has the potential to reduce the volumes of waste tailings substantially while enhancing product quality.

Concurrently, the Project will allow the Bank to secure meaningful engagement in the Kazakh mining sector and support policy dialogue with the newly established Ministry of Investments and Development and the Ministry of Energy responsible for mining, oil and gas and environmental protection in the development of the new Subsoil Use Code.

Client Information

VOSKHOD CHROME LLP

The Yildirim Group is a diversified Turkish conglomerate with interests in mining, sea transport, port management and chemicals. Yildirim Group is also one of world's largest chrome ore and ferrochrome producers, and one of the few suppliers of high-quality ferrochrome. The loan will be guaranteed by Yildirim Holding A.S. and by other key operating and trading entities of the Yildirim Group.

EBRD Finance Summary

USD 242,465,792.69

A/B loan structure.

Total Project Cost

USD 406,965,793.00

Environmental and Social Summary

Category B.  Due diligence and repeated subsequent monitoring has confirmed that the environmental and social impacts relating to the expansion and upgrade of existing mine workings are site specific and can be mitigated and managed through the implementation of a targeted action plan.  An Independent Environmental and Social Consultant (IESC) was engaged to carry out due diligence on the existing mine operations and the investment plans put in place by the Company.  The IESC was subsequently retained for a to carry out independent monitoring on the operations and review the implementation of the ESAP.  In addition to this, at the time of due diligence, a separate IESC was engaged to carry out an OHS assessment of the corporate parent's chromium mining properties in Turkey to evaluate Yildirim's corporate capacity to manage this key issue and also in relation to the fact that the security package on this transaction involves a corporate guarantee from the parent.  ESD completed site visits also, the first following the IESC due diligence site audit to both directly view operations, and to confirm the main findings of the IESC's assessment, and the second to accompany the first monitoring visit.  Furthermore, during due diligence ESD carried out a series of searches on the parent operations to determine whether any potential reputational issues exist in relation to the corporate guarantee from the parent over and above the OHS issues addressed by the IESC.  It can be confirmed that no significant issues were identified in this regard. 

The IESC assessments determined that the site operations and Project implementation are being managed in a manner that largely follow Best Practice and that the management have the capability to operate the mine in line with the Bank's PRs.   Due diligence did however identify a number of potential improvements that will require implementation to meet the PRs and these were included in an ESAP.  The ESAP included, among other actions:

(i)            Formalise accreditation of the Environmental and OHS Management Systems;

(ii)           Integrate the various social investment and stakeholder engagement activities into a coherent policy and plan;

(iii)          Implement an effective Contractor Management Plan;

(iv)         Upgrade and maintain the processing plant's dust control systems to meet design specifications;

(v)          Upgrade and maintain the site's wastewater treatment plant to enable compliant discharge and disposal of mine water;

(vi)         Implement a more comprehensive environmental monitoring network for air, surface water and groundwater quality;

(vii)        Upgrade storm water collection systems across the site;

(viii)       Update the stakeholder identification associated with the Project which dates from 2007; and

(ix)         Develop a closure and restoration plan in line with the Bank's requirements. 

 

Many of the issues listed above had already been identified by the client as issues requiring action and budgets had already been set aside for action.  Monitoring has shown that significant progress has been made on the issues included in the ESAP.  While monitoring visits have not been possible more recently due to the pandemic situation, a visit will take place during 2021 or as soon as possible given travel restrictions and the status of the COVID-19 situation.

 

Technical Cooperation and Grant Financing

The project benefits from technical cooperation funds in the areas of policy dialogue.

Company Contact Information

Mr. Serdar Ates
serdar.ates@yildirimgroup.com
+90 212 290 30 80
Structured Finance Manager Yildirim Holding A.S., Meydan Sokak No:1, Beybi Giz Plaza Kat 3-4, 34398 Maslak, Istanbul

Implementation summary

The arranged A/B loan supported a cross-border investment allowing the international investor (Yildirim Group) to expand its chromium mining, beneficiation and trading operations within the Bank's country of operations. The project features the Bank's first engagement in Kazakhstan's chromium mining sector along with successful policy dialogue resulting in the adoption of a modern Subsoil Use Code.

The Project's structure allowed to accommodate the Borrower's funding needs to implement Mine Improvement Plan ("MIP") and provide restructuring facility to optimize the capital structure. Voskhod navigated successfully through a volatile market environment, implemented MIP and demonstrated good progress with environmental and social action plan. 

The Project is expected to continue promoting greater competition in Kazakhstan's chromium mining sector (via improvements in resources efficiency) and further increase in the participation of private investors in the mining industry (on the back of a New Subsoil Use Code).

PSD last updated

08 Dec 2021

Understanding Transition

Further information regarding the EBRD’s approach to measuring transition impact is available here.

Business opportunities

For business opportunities or procurement, contact the client company.

For business opportunities with EBRD (not related to procurement) contact:

Tel: +44 20 7338 7168
Email: projectenquiries@ebrd.com

For state-sector projects, visit EBRD Procurement:

Tel: +44 20 7338 6794
Email: procurement@ebrd.com

General enquiries

Specific enquiries can be made using the EBRD Enquiries form.

Environmental and Social Policy (ESP)

The ESP and the associated Performance Requirements (PRs) set out the ways in which the EBRD implements its commitment to promoting “environmentally sound and sustainable development”.  The ESP and the PRs include specific provisions for clients to comply with the applicable requirements of national laws on public information and consultation as well as to establish a grievance mechanism to receive and facilitate resolution of stakeholders’ concerns and grievances, in particular, about environmental and social performance of the client and the project. Proportionate to the nature and scale of a project’s environmental and social risks and impacts, the EBRD additionally requires its clients to disclose information, as appropriate, about the risks and impacts arising from projects or to undertake meaningful consultation with stakeholders and consider and respond to their feedback.

More information on the EBRD’s practices in this regard is set out in the ESP.

Integrity and Compliance

The EBRD's Office of the Chief Compliance Officer (OCCO) promotes good governance and ensures that the highest standards of integrity are applied to all activities of the Bank in accordance with international best practice. Integrity due diligence is conducted on all Bank clients to ensure that projects do not present unacceptable integrity or reputational risks to the Bank. The Bank believes that identifying and resolving issues at the project assessment approval stages is the most effective means of ensuring the integrity of Bank transactions. OCCO plays a key role in these protective efforts, and also helps to monitor integrity risks in projects post-investment.

OCCO is also responsible for investigating allegations of fraud, corruption and misconduct in EBRD-financed projects. Anyone, both within or outside the Bank, who suspects fraud or corruption should submit a written report to the Chief Compliance Officer by email to compliance@ebrd.com. All matters reported will be handled by OCCO for follow-up. All reports, including anonymous ones, will be reviewed. Reports can be made in any language of the Bank or of the Bank's countries of operation. The information provided must be made in good faith.

Access to Information Policy (AIP)

The AIP sets out how the EBRD discloses information and consults with its stakeholders so as to promote better awareness and understanding of its strategies, policies and operations following its entry into force on 1 January 2020. Please visit the Access to Information Policy page to find out what information is available from the EBRD website.

Specific requests for information can be made using the EBRD Enquiries form.

Independent Project Accountability Mechanism (IPAM)

If efforts to address environmental, social or public disclosure concerns with the Client or the Bank are unsuccessful (e.g. through the Client’s Project-level grievance mechanism or through direct engagement with Bank management), individuals and organisations may seek to address their concerns through the EBRD’s Independent Project Accountability Mechanism (IPAM).

IPAM independently reviews Project issues that are believed to have caused (or to be likely to cause) harm. The purpose of the Mechanism is: to support dialogue between Project stakeholders to resolve environmental, social and public disclosure issues; to determine whether the Bank has complied with its Environmental and Social Policy or Project-specific provisions of its Access to Information Policy; and where applicable, to address any existing non-compliance with these policies, while preventing future non-compliance by the Bank.

Please visit the Independent Project Accountability Mechanism webpage to find out more about IPAM and its mandate; how to submit a Request for review; or contact IPAM  via email ipam@ebrd.com to get guidance and more information on IPAM and how to submit a request.

 

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