Akbastau is an area in Kazakhstan’s Southern Province, located in the district of Suzak. The area lies 1,505 Kilometers from Astana and is home to one of Kazakhstan’s largest Uranium Mines, a Russian-Kazkahn joint venture which is operated by Kazatomprom, a state-owned nuclear holding company which operates in the fields of Uranium and nuclear fuel cycle services. The company also engages in a vast array of geological exploration based around the by-products of its Uranium extraction, many of which consist of Rare Earth Elements. Kazatomprom, then processes these materials at the Ulba Metallurgical Plant in Ust-Kamenogorsk, located in the East, an area which is notorious for its contaminated groundwater and hazardous industrial waste sites left over from soviet-era mining practices.
In November 2010 the multinational conglomerate Toshiba began working with Kazatomprom in Kazakhstan to utilize Dysprosium and Neodymium by-products from the Uranium extraction process at Akbastau. The Rare Earth Technology Development Team was subsequently set up as a new division within Toshiba’s Industrial Systems Research and Development Center, with the aim to use new technology to recover and sell Rare Earth materials and Rare Metals.
(RES) Dysprosium was developed in an alignment with these processes as a catalyst for the creation of new values and is intended to be used within Kazakhstan’s Akbastau and Ust-Kamenogorsk regions. The sculpture aims to generate a wave of activity coinciding with the recent developments in Rare Earth Technologies that highlight and emphasise a continuous improvement of the environmental condition and will infuse an impulse for the development of native technologies. By doing this, we hope to pave way for new strategies and directions to emerge, which excel and heighten the geological vibrations and organizational psychology of the region and its global connections.