Kazatomprom leaves U output unchanged in 2020

03 February 2020

Kazatomprom expects its 2020 uranium output to remain flat compared to 2019, consistent with its market-centric strategy and previously announced intention to "flex down" planned production volumes through 2021. The world's biggest uranium producer, the Kazakh company covered 23% of global output of the metal in 2018.

(Image: Kazatomprom)

Total uranium production for 2019 on a 100% basis was 22,808 tU - 5% higher than 2018, according to the company's operations and trading update for the fourth quarter and year ended 31 December. Attributable production was 13,291 tU which was 16% up on 2018. This increase was due to higher 2019 production levels under subsoil use contracts and was expected, the company said.

Kazatomprom announced in December 2017 it would reduce planned uranium production by 20% over three years from January 2018. With the flex down, under existing subsoil use agreements, 2020 production is expected to remain at about 22,750-22,800 tU (100% basis), and 13,000-13,500 tU (attributable basis). Without the reduction, 2020 production was expected to be around 28,500 tU (100% basis), the company said.

Group sales volumes for 2020 are expected to be 15,500-16,500 tU. Sales in excess of planned attributable production are expected to be primarily sourced from inventories, from KAP subsidiaries under contracts and agreements with joint venture partners, and from other third parties. The company continues to target an ongoing inventory level of about six to seven months of attributable production.

Kazatomprom produces uranium using in-situ leach methods from 26 deposits grouped into 13 mining assets. All of its mining operations are in Kazakhstan.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News