Kazakh uranium output continues to rise

09 August 2010

Kazakh national nuclear company KazAtomProm reported a 42% increase in uranium production during the first half of 2010 compared with the same period in 2009. Total uranium output for the whole of 2010 is set to reach 18,222 tonnes, a 30% increase from 2009. 


Drums of uranium (KazAtomProm)
Drums of Kazakh uranium (Image: KazAtomProm)

The company said that production between January and June 2010 totalled 8452 tonnes of uranium (tU), up from just over 6000 tU in the first half of 2009. KazAtomProm said that uranium output in the second half of 2010 is expected to be 9770 tU. This would bring total production in 2010 to 18,222 tU, up from the 14,020 tU produced in 2009.


KazAtomProm reported that total revenues for the first six months of 2010 were KZT 105.7 billion ($717.5 million), up 58% from the same period in 2009. The almost two-fold increase in income, the company said, was a result of increased volumes of uranium sales. Net profits, the company said, increased 64% to KZT 19.4 billion ($131.8 million).


During the first half of 2010, two facilities were brought online, according to KazAtomProm. The industrial complex and wellfield at the Inkai joint venture (KazAtomProm 40%, Cameco 60%) was started up, in addition to the first phase of the expanded pilot in-situ leach (ISL) production facility at the Budenovskoye 2 mine operated by the Karatau joint venture (KazAtomProm 50%, Uranium One 50%).


Also during the six-month period, KazAtomProm reached an agreement with Russian state nuclear energy company Rosatom on the alternative development of the International Enrichment Centre project. That agreement provides for KazAtomProm to participate in the capital of the Urals Electrochemical Plant in Novouralsk.


In addition, Japan's Nuclear Fuel industries (NFI) certified the use of uranium dioxide (UO2) powders produced by the Ulba Metallurgical Plant (UMP), part of the KazAtomProm group, for use in Japanese nuclear power reactors. This certification, the company said, will allow for UMP to proceed supplying UO2 powders to Japan.


In early June, KazAtomProm signed an agreement with Toshiba of Japan to establish a joint venture for research, exploration, production and sales of rare and rare earth metal products and materials. The new joint venture is expected to be formed during the second half of 2010. Earlier, in March, the Summit Atom Rare Earth Company (Sareco) - a joint venture between KazAtomProm and Japan's Sumitomo - was founded for the development of rare and rare earth metals.


Researched and written

by World Nuclear News