Russia plans to start mining uranium at the Elkon deposit in the Yakutia region of north-eastern Russia in 2012-13, according to Sergey Kiriyenko, director of the Federal Atomic Energy Agency (Rosatom).
A total of 90 billion roubles ($3.6 billion) will be invested in the Elkon project, including 7.5 billion roubles ($300 million) from the federal budget. Kiriyenko said that some 5000 tonnes of uranium would be mined annually at the Elkon project.
In addition, exploration of other deposits in the region would be conducted in parallel with the development of Elkon. Seven other deposits have been identified in the region: Elkon Plateau, Kurung, Neprokhodimoye, Druzhnoye, Severnoye, Interesnoye and Lunnoye. Including the Elkon deposit, they contain a total 370,000 tonnes of uranium, representing 7% of the world's reserves, Kiriyenko said.
State-owned uranium services company Tenex succeeded in bidding for the deposits on 15 May. In coming months, Tenex is planned to be integrated as part of AtomEnergoProm, a vertically integrated nuclear power company encompassing virtually all of Russia's civil nuclear industry.
TenexWNN: Russian uranium deposits to be developed
WNA's Nuclear Power in Russia information paper