Bumper uranium year for Areva

18 February 2013

2012 saw French nuclear company Areva achieve record uranium production of 9760 tU, enabling the company to retain its place as the world's second-largest corporate uranium producer.

Trekkopje (Areva)
Trekkopje (Image: Areva)

The 9760 tU represents Areva's financially consolidated share from its mining interests around the world and is up from 9142 tU in 2011. The figure keeps the company in second place behind world leader Kazatomprom of Kazakhstan, with a 2012 production share of nearly 12,000 tU.

According to a company press release, Areva's mining sites in Kazakhstan and Niger beat their all-time highs for the second consecutive year. Katco, a joint venture owned 51% by Areva and 49% by Kazatomprom, accounted for 3661 tU (53 tU more than in 2011) of Areva's total. In Niger, Areva's 63%-owned subsidiary Somair contributed 3065 tU (339 tU up on 2011), while Cominak, in which Areva holds 34%, added 512 tU from a total mine output of 1506 tU.

Areva's interests in the McArthur River-Key Lake operations in Canada produced 2270 tU, while Trekkopje in Namibia produced 251 tons. Trekkopje's pilot phase produced its first uranium concentrates in January 2011, but the project was placed under care and maintenance at the end of 2012 after Areva announced that it would postpone the full launch of the mine pending an improvement in market conditions.

Areva's senior executive vice president for mining activities Olivier Wantz described the 2012 figures as a "remarkable collective performance" in line with the objectives of the company's long-term strategic plan, Action 2016. The plan was drawn up by the company in 2011 to mitigate mounting losses stemming from problems with reactor construction projects in Finland and France, the downgrading of uranium assets at the Namibian project and the effects of the Fukushima accident on the uranium and reactor construction markets.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News