Jezkazgan or Zhezkazgan ( / Jezqazğan), formerly known as Dzhezkazgan , is a city in Karagandy Province, Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

, on a reservoir of the Kara-Kengir River. The city population is of 90,000 (1999 census). Its urban area
Urban area
An urban area is characterized by higher population density and vast human features in comparison to areas surrounding it. Urban areas may be cities, towns or conurbations, but the term is not commonly extended to rural settlements such as villages and hamlets.Urban areas are created and further...

 includes the neighbouring mining town of Satpayev, for a total city population of 148,700.

55% of Jezkagan population are Kazakhs
The Kazakhs are a Turkic people of the northern parts of Central Asia ....

, 30% Russians
The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

, with smaller minorities of Ukrainians
Ukrainians are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Ukraine, which is the sixth-largest nation in Europe. The Constitution of Ukraine applies the term 'Ukrainians' to all its citizens...

, Germans
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

, Chechens and Koreans.


Jezkazgan is situated in the very heart of the Kazakh upland, far away from a big river. It has an extreme continental climate
Continental climate
Continental climate is a climate characterized by important annual variation in temperature due to the lack of significant bodies of water nearby...

. The average temperature ranges from 24 °C (75.2 °F) in July to -16 °C in January.


The city was created in 1938 in connection with the exploitation of the rich local copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

 deposits. In 1973 a large mining and metallurgical complex was constructed to the southeast to smelt the copper that until then had been sent elsewhere for processing. Other metal ores mined and processed locally are manganese
Manganese is a chemical element, designated by the symbol Mn. It has the atomic number 25. It is found as a free element in nature , and in many minerals...

, iron
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

 and gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...


During the Soviet era, Jezkazgan was the site of a Gulag
The Gulag was the government agency that administered the main Soviet forced labor camp systems. While the camps housed a wide range of convicts, from petty criminals to political prisoners, large numbers were convicted by simplified procedures, such as NKVD troikas and other instruments of...

 labor camp
Labor camp
A labor camp is a simplified detention facility where inmates are forced to engage in penal labor. Labor camps have many common aspects with slavery and with prisons...

, Kengir
Kengir is a village in central Kazakhstan. During the Soviet era, a prison labor camp of Steplag division of Gulag in Kazakhstan was set up adjacent to it...

, mentioned in Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn was aRussian and Soviet novelist, dramatist, and historian. Through his often-suppressed writings, he helped to raise global awareness of the Gulag, the Soviet Union's forced labor camp system – particularly in The Gulag Archipelago and One Day in the Life of...

's book The Gulag Archipelago
The Gulag Archipelago
The Gulag Archipelago is a book by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn based on the Soviet forced labor and concentration camp system. The three-volume book is a narrative relying on eyewitness testimony and primary research material, as well as the author's own experiences as a prisoner in a gulag labor camp...

, and Alexander Dolgun
Alexander Dolgun
Alexander Dolgun was a survivor of the Soviet Gulag who wrote about his experiences in 1975 after being allowed to leave the Soviet Union and return to his native United States.- Pre-Gulag years :...

's "An American In The Gulag".


Today the city is the headquarters of the copper conglomerate Kazakhmys
Kazakhmys Plc is a UK-registered copper mining company whose main assets are located in Kazakhstan. Its headquarters are in London, United Kingdom. The headquarters of its main subsidiary, Kazakhmys Corporation, are located in the city of Karaganda, Kazakhstan...

, the city's main employer. The company has subsidiaries in China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and is listed on the London Stock Exchange
London Stock Exchange
The London Stock Exchange is a stock exchange located in the City of London within the United Kingdom. , the Exchange had a market capitalisation of US$3.7495 trillion, making it the fourth-largest stock exchange in the world by this measurement...

There is a power station, Kazakhmys Power Plant with generation capacity of 207 MW and a 220 metres tall main chimney.


Although Jezkazgan is centrally located in the country, it has limited connections to the other regions by rail, except for a rail line to the regional capital city Karaganda
Karagandy , more commonly known by its Russian name Karaganda, , is the capital of Karagandy Province in Kazakhstan. It is the fourth most populous city in Kazakhstan, behind Almaty , Astana and Shymkent, with a population of 471,800 . In the 1940s up to 70% of the city's inhabitants were ethnic...

. Jezkazgan is connected by road to the cities Karaganda (by class-B European route E018), Kyzylorda and Arkalyk
Arkalyk is a city in Kostanay Province, northern Kazakhstan. Earlier, it was the centre of Torgay province, which was abolished in 1997. Today, it is the administrative centre of Torgay region, Kostanay province....

 (both by the European route E123
European route E123
European route E 123 is a Class A north-south reference European route that connects the Ural region with Central Asia, spanning .-Itinerary:The E 123 routes through four Asian countries:* Russia** M-36: Chelyabinsk – Troitsk* Kazakhstan...

). The city is accessible by air via Zhezkazgan Airport.


The Baikonur Cosmodrome
Baikonur Cosmodrome
The Baikonur Cosmodrome , also called Tyuratam, is the world's first and largest operational space launch facility. It is located in the desert steppe of Kazakhstan, about east of the Aral Sea, north of the Syr Darya river, near Tyuratam railway station, at 90 meters above sea level...

 lies 400 kilometres (248.5 mi) to the south west and, by tradition, every cosmonaut plants a tree in Jezkazgan's Seyfullin-Boulevard to mark his safe return from space.

Born in Jezkazgan

  • Vitaliy Savin, a former Soviet athlete
  • Oleg Yankovsky
    Oleg Yankovsky
    Oleg Ivanovich Yankovsky was a Soviet/Russian actor who has excelled in psychologically sophisticated roles of modern intellectuals...

    , a Russian actor
  • Kaisar Nurmagambetov
    Kaisar Nurmagambetov
    Kaisar Nurmaganbetov, is a Kazakhstani sprint canoer who has competed since 1995. At the 1996 Summer Olympics, he was eliminated in the semifinals of both the C-2 500 m and the C-2 1000 m events. Four years later, Nurmaganbetov was eliminated in the semifinals of both the C-1 500 m and the C-1...

    , a flatwater canoer

External links

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