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(last updated 17 May 2023)



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Akdal · Budenovskoye · Inkay (Inkai) · Irkol · Karamurun · Khorasan · Munkuduk (Mynkuduk) · Muyunkum (Moinkum) · North Kharasan · South Inkay · Tselinny · Zarechnoye · Zhalpak
> See also Issues for: Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects · Legislation & Regulations
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

In Kazakhstan, uranium prospection and/or exploration is being performed by Areva, Atomredmetzoloto, Cameco Corporation, Kansai Electric Power Co.,Inc. (KEPCO), KazAtomProm, Sumitomo Corporation, Tekhsnabexport , Uran Ltd , Urasia Energy Ltd.


Kazatomprom and Czech company sign Memorandum of Cooperation on uranium exploration and mining

In Astana, CEO of JSC NAC Kazatomprom Askar Zhumagaliyev and CEO of Uranium Industry a.s. Milan Klecka signed the Memorandum of Cooperation between two companies.
In line with the Memorandum, the companies plan to develop a long-term cooperation aimed at nuclear fuel cycle projects implementation. Particularly, special attention is expected to be given to geological exploration, mining and processing of uranium, reclamation, marketing and sale of uranium products. (Kazatomprom Dec. 9, 2016)

China General Nuclear Power Corp (CGN) signs agreement with Kazatomprom on uranium mining joint venture in Kazakhstan

China General Nuclear Power Corp (CGN) announced that it signed an agreement Monday (Dec. 14) with Kazakhstan's Kazatomprom to jointly build a nuclear fuel assembly plant and mine uranium deposits in the central Asian country. The largest nuclear power supplier in China said the main business terms, and construction and development schedules had been agreed upon with the Kazakh company. CGN gave no further details on either project.
Cooperation between the two firms on uranium development and trade and nuclear fuel fabrication was initiated in 2006. The two have a uranium mining joint venture, and CGN also imports nuclear fuel pellets and uranium from Kazatomprom. (China Daily Dec. 15, 2015)

Kazakhstan to supply India with 5,000 tonnes of uranium

Kazakhstan on Wednesday (July 8) signed an agreement with India to supply New Delhi with 5,000 tonnes of uranium over the next five years, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said after meeting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Kazakhstan supplied India with 2,100 tonnes of uranium between 2010 and 2014. (AFP Jul 8, 2015)

Kazakhstan to raise uranium output to 21,346 tonnes in 2012

Kazakhstan plans to increase uranium production to 21,346 metric tons next year, said Kazatomprom, the state nuclear company. (Bloomberg Dec. 14, 2011)

Kazakhstan ready to increase annual uranium production up to 25,000 - 30,000 tonnes

Kazakhstan is ready to increase its annual uranium production up to 25,000-30,000 tonnes under the related market demands and can build its own nuclear power plant within the next ten years, Vice President of the national atomic energy company Kazatomprom Sergei Yashin said at the Sixth Eurasian Forum KAZENERGY-2011 on Wednesday (Oct. 5); Kazinform refers to Itar-Tass.
Kazatomprom has revised the outlook for Kazakhstan's uranium production in 2011 to 19,900 tonnes. In 2010, uranium production in Kazakhstan reached 17,803 tonnes. (Kazakhstan Today Oct. 6, 2011)

Kazakhstan ends rise in uranium production to stabilize prices

After more than tripling its output of uranium in four years to become the world's top producer, Kazakhstan has stabilized production to around 20,000 metric tons annually in order to avoid further depressing prices, Sergei Dara, Director of Strategic Development and International Projects at Kazatomprom, the state nuclear company, said Monday (Oct. 3).
He said as long as prices remain at their current low levels, "Kazakhstan will not develop new projects and our production will remain at the current level." But the country may still ramp it up to 25,000 tons annually -- about 40% of world production -- "provided that such quantities are required by the market and we are confident we will realize a fair return on our investments," he said. "Prices were low in 2008 and 2009 mostly because Kazakhstan's production was increasing so fast," said Stanislav Chuyev, senior analyst at Visor Capital, an investment bank in Almaty, Kazakhstan's financial center. "Keeping production at 20,000 tons will help level the prices." (Dow Jones Newswires Oct. 3, 2011)

India and Kazakhstan sign nuclear agreement, including joint uranium mining

On April 16, 2011, India and Kazakhstan signed an inter-governmental agreement for Cooperation in Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy, that envisages a legal framework for supply of fuel, construction and operation of atomic power plants, exploration and joint mining of uranium, exchange of scientific and research information, reactor safety mechanisms and use of radiation technologies for healthcare.
After the talks, the Kazakh President announced that his country would supply India with 2100 tonnes of uranium and was ready to do more.
India and Kazakhstan already have civil nuclear cooperation since January 2009 when Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and Kazakh nuclear company KazAtomProm signed an MoU during the visit of Nazarbaev to Delhi. Under the contract, KazAtomProm supplies uranium which is used by Indian reactors. (Indian Express Apr. 16, 2011)

Kazakhstan plans 10% uranium production increase in 2011

Kazakhstan expects a 10 percent increase in uranium production this year, cementing its position as the world's largest producer of the metal used in nuclear fuel generation, the head of its state nuclear company said. Vladimir Shkolnik, chief executive of Kazatomprom, forecast on Tuesday (Feb. 1) that Kazakhstan would produce 19,600 tonnes of uranium this year, up from the 17,803 tonnes produced in 2010.
(Reuters Feb. 1, 2011)

Kazakhstan reduces uranium production target for 2010

Kazakhstan plans to increase uranium mining output in 2010 to 17,588 tonnes against 14,000 tonnes in the past year, reports Interfax-Kazakhstan. Previously, the Ministry of Mining had planned a uranium production of 18,222 tonnes in 2010. (Kazakhstan today Oct. 12, 2010)

Kazatomprom plans to increase uranium production further up to 26,000 t per year

Kazatomprom plans to further raise its uranium production to 25,000 - 26,000 tons of uranium per year, reported the Vice President of the company Nurlan Ryspanov. In 2009, the company achieved the record production of 14,000 tons of uranium, and in 2010 it plans to reach 18,000 tons of uranium. (Kazakhstan today Jun. 4, 2010)

Romania's National Uranium Corporation and Kazatomprom to set up joint venture

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Japanese companies to participate in the development of uranium deposits in Kazakhstan

Japanese companies are interested in the development of uranium deposits in the territory of Kazakhstan, it is said in the joint statement of the heads of the Departments of Foreign Policy of the two countries, signed on Wednesday (Mar. 24) in Tokyo. (Kazakhstan today Mar. 24, 2010)

Report: Iran seeking to smuggle raw uranium from Kazakhstan

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Half of Kazakhstan's uranium deposits stolen by former official, police says

The recently imprisoned former head of Kazakhstan's state nuclear power agency stole the majority of the central Asian nation's uranium deposits, security officials said Monday (June 1). Former Kazatomprom head Mukhtar Dzhakishev and other company officials illegally shifted ownership of uranium mines worth tens of billions of dollars through a network of offshore companies, the KNB security service said. (AFP June 1, 2009)

India to enter joint venture for uranium mining in Kazakhstan

India and Kazakhstan are expected to engage in joint extraction of natural uranium in this central Asian country after the two sides conclude the proposed inter-governmental agreement for cooperation in peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The two sides have signed a memorandum envisaging cooperation in "joint extraction of natural uranium in Kazakhstan" apart from delivery of fuel for reactors in India, Mukhtar Dzhakishev, President of the National Atomic company Kazatomprom was quoted as saying by 'Khabar' news agency. (Kazinform Feb. 9, 2009)

Kazakhstan plans to boost annual uranium production to 12,000 tons in 2009

Kazatomprom plans to boost production to 11,900 - 12,000 tonnes in 2009 from around 8,600 tonnes this year, Kazatomprom Vice President Sergei Yashin told Reuters in Moscow. Yashin said those figures could make the state miner the world's biggest producer of uranium in 2009. (Reuters Nov. 26, 2008)

Kazatomprom, China start uranium production in Kazakhstan

Kazatomprom NC JSC announced the development of the Irkol, Semizbay, and Zhalpak deposits in compliance with strategic agreements concluded with China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corporation (CGNPC). According to Kazatomprom president Mukhtar Dzhakishev, CGNPC will operate at the Irkol (750 t/y) and Semizbai (500 t/y) mines in Kyzylorda oblast. CNNC is expected to develop the Zhalpak deposit located in the South Kazakhstan region with 750 t/y uranium output. "Production works at Irkol mine have already been started. Semizbai is to be commissioned in 2009. As for Zhalpak, its operation has not been started yet", M. Dzhakishev said. (Kazinform Nov. 6, 2008)

Kazakhstan plans to boost annual uranium production to 15,400 tons by 2010

Kazakhstan plans mining uranium by 2010 at the level of 15,400 tons per year. On this stated the Minister of Foreign Affairs RK Marat Tazhin. (Kazakhstan today Oct. 3, 2008)

Kazatomprom aims to top global uranium market in 2009

Kazakhstan's state-owned nuclear company Kazatomprom aims to become the world's biggest uranium producer in 2009 by raising production by 4,000 tonnes, its president said. Kazatomprom President Mukhtar Dzhakishev told reporters his company would boost production to 12,826 tonnes in 2009 from this year's planned 9,000 tonnes after opening six new production units. (Reuters July 22, 2008)

Kazakhstan plans to boost uranium production 42% in 2008

Kazakhstan plans to boost uranium production 42% year-on-year in 2008 to 9,400 metric tons, the president of the Central Asian republic's state-run nuclear company Kazatomprom said. Mukhtar Dzhakishev said uranium production in Kazakhstan totaled 6,600 metric tons in 2007. (RIA Novosti Feb. 7, 2008)

Kazakhstan plans to increase uranium output fivefold

Kazakhstan intends to mine 30,000 t/y by 2018, according to Mukhtar Dzhakishev, president of state-run producer Kazatomprom. Kazakhstan extracted 5,279 t in 2006. (Mining Journal 10 Jan 2008)

Kazakhstan plans to increase uranium production by 31% in 2007

Kazakhstan plans to increase uranium production 31% to 6,937 tonnes in 2007 from the previous year, the country's Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry said in a statement. The country produced 5,279 tonnes of uranium in 2006, 21% more than in 2005. (Interfax Jan. 18, 2007)

Kazakhstan to increase uranium exports to Japan

Japan on Tuesday (Mar. 2) signed a nuclear pact with Kazakhstan, allowing it to obtain stable supplies of uranium in exchange for nuclear technology. Japanese utility Kansai Electric Power Co, trading house Sumitomo Corp and Tokyo-based Nuclear Fuel Industries Ltd in 2007 signed an accord with Kazakh state-owned nuclear firm Kazatomprom on cooperation in uranium processing to fuel Kansai's nuclear power plants. (Reuters Mar. 2, 2010)

Japan will import 30 percent of its uranium for power plants from Kazakhstan as part of a civil nuclear cooperation agreement signed on April 30, 2007, between the two new "strategic partners." The joint statement was signed by Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Akira Amari and Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Masimov. Under related deals, the two nations' business entities reached a wide variety of agreements that will considerably increase Kazakhstan's exports of uranium to Japan. Specifically, Japanese officials said more than 30 percent of 9,500 tons of uranium -- Japan's total demand in 2005 -- will come from Kazakhstan starting several years from now. Currently, the former Soviet republic supplies just 1 percent of Japan's uranium. (Asahi Shimbun May 3, 2007)

On Aug. 28, 2006, Japan and Kazakhstan signed an agreement allowing the substantial increase of uranium exports to Japan. State-owned KazAtomProm hopes to increase its annual uranium supplies to Japan to 2,000 metric tons or 25% of Japanese demand.
In January 2006, KazAtomProm agreed to form a joint venture with Sumitomo and Kansai Electric Power Company. The Kazakh company will hold a 65% interest in the $100 million project. The JV is expected to reach its full production capacity of 1,000 tonnes of uranium production annually by 2010. (Mineweb Aug. 29, 2006)

South Korea and Kazakhstan to establish uranium mining joint venture

On April 22, 2005, South Korea and Kazakhstan agreed to establish a joint company to mine uranium in the west-central Asian country, a move to ensure Seoul a safe supply of the mineral, officials said.
The company, to be set up within the year, is projected to go on line in 2008 and start full-blown production in 2010 with an annual output of 1,000 tons, the officials at the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy, was quoted the South Korean news agency Yonhap as saying. In 2004, Seoul imported 3,239 tons of uranium to meet its domestic needs, Yonhap said. (Xinhua, April 22, 2005)

Kazakhstan wants to become the world's leading uranium producer

Kazakhstan is planning to increase its annual uranium production from the current 3000 t to 12,000 t in 2015, according to Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Vladimir Shkolnik. For this purpose, new uranium mines are to be opened in the Zarechnoye, Moikuduk, Zhalpak and Budennovskoye uranium fields and concentration plants to be built at the Tsentralnoye, Stepnoye and Shestoye mines. (Kazakhstan today April 5, Interfax April 6, 2004)
The uranium production figure planned for 2015 meanwhile was raised to 15956 t. (Kazakhstan today July 7, 2004)

Kazakhstan to upgrade uranium production facilities with Western credit

The government of Kazakhstan is reportedly considering selling a 67% controlling stake in state-owned uranium producer Kazatomprom.
Kazatomprom plans to use a US$25 million credit from Westdeutsche Landesbank (Germany) to upgrade production facilities, develop new uranium deposits and reduce loan exposure to local banks, in preparation for the privatisation. The company has also outlined a programme to invest US$33 million in upgrading the Ulba uranium, beryllium and tantalum plant and US$17 million to expand the ore base during 2000. (UI News Briefing 00.04, Jan. 26, 2000)
See also Kazatomprom news release Jan. 17, 2000


Akmola Province


Tselinny uranium mining project

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World Wide Minerals Ltd is set to assume management of the Tselinny uranium mining project in Kazakhstan. The Tselinny uranium assets include several underground mines with estimated reserves of 75 million tonnes of ore average grade 0.12%. World Wide Minerals wants to develop a geological and mining plan to increase the grade to at least 10 million tonnes at a mining grade of 0.35 to 0.40% uranium. Initial production is expected to start in 1997. [UI News Briefing 96/42]


Kyzylorda Province

Irkol · Khorasan · Karamurun · North Kharasan

Irkol project (ISL), Shieli district, Kyzylorda region

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Kazakhstan has begun mining uranium at a new field in the south of the country with a production capacity of 750 metric tons annually, the national nuclear power company said. The new deposit was brought into operation as part of Kazakh-Chinese cooperation in nuclear power engineering, Kazatomprom said in a statement.
"The field's operator is the joint venture Semizbai-U and the project is being implemented as part of the agreement on strategic partnership between Kazatomprom and China Guangdong Nuclear Power Co. - CGNPC ", the statement said.
The uranium field will reach its intended annual output of 750 metric tons of uranium next year, with 500 metric tons expected to be produced in 2009. The field will have an operational life of 25 years. Under the agreement between Kazatomprom and CGNPC, uranium extracted from the field will be used to meet the requirements of China's nuclear industry. (RIA Novosti April 28, 2009)


Khorasan project

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Uranium production from in-situ leaching of the Korsan deposit is planned to begin in 2009. The full capacity of 750 tons of uranium per year is to be reached in 2011. (Kazakhstan today Aug. 10, 2005)


North Kharasan Project

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Japan opened a major uranium mine in Kazakhstan on Friday, April 24, 2009, gaining access to alternative energy supplies from resource-rich Central Asia. Khorasan-1, tucked away in the arid steppes of southern Kazakhstan, is being developed by a group of Japanese firms including Toshiba Corp, as well as Kazakh state uranium company Kazatomprom and a unit of Canada's Uranium One.
Khorasan, with uranium reserves of more than 80,000 tonnes, will produce about 180 tonnes of the commodity this year and reach full capacity by 2014 when it is due to start yielding 3,000 tonnes of uranium a year. Under the deal, about 2,000 tonnes will be shipped to Japan to fuel its nuclear power plants. The companies have invested about $430 million in the project so far. (Reuters Apr. 24, 2009)

On Apr. 24, 2007, Marubeni Corporation , The Tokyo Electric Power Company, Inc. , and Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc. announced the acquisition of indirect participations in the Kharasan 1 and Kharasan 2 uranium mine projects.

Kharassan has a mine life of 25 years; full production of 2.0 million pounds U3O8 (750 t U) is expected in 2012. (UrAsia Feb. 20, 2006)


Karamurun project, Shieli and Zhanakorgan districts, Kyzylorda region

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Residents affected by in situ leach mining projects in Shieli region demand creation of a commission to investigate the situation: Inhabitants of the Shieli district reported that the conditions reported from the ranch of Elibay Dzhikibaev can be found all over the region. They demand the creation of a commission to investigate the situation. The residents emphasize that they are not opposed in principal to mining and processing of uranium, but under the condition not to bring harm to people and to compensate loss to peasant farms in proper time. (Caravan Mar. 26, 2010)

Rancher complains about impacts of Karamurun uranium in situ leach project on cattle: In 2008, Kazatomprom's subsidiary No. 6 Mining Company started drilling on the pasture lands owned by Elibay Dzhikibaev, without obtaining his consent. The company drilled bore holes, began to work with acid, and laid a road. As a result, the land became unsuitable for pasture. The cows and calves fell into the funnels, their hooves were injured from the contact with acid. The rancher lost a large part of his cattle and asked the company for compensation. The company promised to compensate the damage, but never paid. (Caravan Jan. 15, 2010)

The Kazatomprom national nuclear company is starting to develop the Yuzhnyy Karamurun uranium deposit in South Kazakhstan. (BBC Monitoring Service - UK, Nov 9, 2001)


South Kazakhstan

Akdal · Budenovskoye · Inkay (Inkai) · Munkuduk (Mynkuduk) · Muyunkum (Moinkum) · South Inkay · Zarechnoye · Zhalpak

Munkuduk (Mynkuduk) project

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The start of production at the West Mynkuduk in-situ leach uranium mine was announced at a press conference on June 4, 2008. First uranium concentrate is to be delivered in 2008; full production of 1000 t U/a is expected in 2010. During a 22-year lifetime, the mine is expected to produce a total of 18,000 t U. (Kazatomprom June 4, 2008)

Sumitomo Corp said its West Mynkuduk uranium project in Kazakhstan, in which the trading house has a 25% stake, will shortly begin pilot production. Uranium concentrate production will begin in March 2008, raising output to a peak 1,000 t/y by 2010. (Mining Journal May 31, 2007)

Kazatomprom launched the PV-19 uranium mine at the East Mynkuduk field in the South Kazakhstan region on May 12, 2006, the Kazakh national nuclear corporation's press office said. The mine will produce uranium by the in-situ leach (ISL) method. It should achieve full capacity of 1,000 tonnes of uranium concentrate annually in 2007. The East Mynkuduk field contains overall resources of 22,000 tonnes of uranium. But Mukhtar Dzhakishev, Kazatomprom's chief, told reporters at the new mine's launch that the target had been revised to 17,500 tonnes. (Interfax May 12, 2006)

On Jan. 23, 2006, Kazatomprom formed joint venture APPAK LLP with Sumitomo Corporation and Kansai Electric Power Co.,Inc. (KEPCO) for the development of the West Mynkuduk deposit by uranium in-situ leaching. Pilot production start is planned in 2007 and full scale commercial production of 1,000 tons of uranium per year is expected about 2010. The mine life is expected to be approximately 22 years and the total production of uranium from this mine will be about 18,000 tons. (Kazatomprom Jan. 23, 2006)

Launching of Central Mynkuduk mine is scheduled for 2007, and it will achieve planned capacity in the amount of 2000 tons of uranium concentrates per year by 2010. Launching of Western Mynkuduk mine is scheduled for 2008, and it will achieve capacity in the amount of 1000 tons of uranium concentrates per year in 2012. (KazAtomProm Oct. 7, 2005)
The startup of uranium in-situ leach (ISL) mine PV-19 on the eastern Mynkuduk deposit is planned in the first quarter of 2006. It is expected that the uranium output of the mine will be 1000 t per year in 2007. The construction began in September 2003. (Kazakhstan Today Sep. 14, 2005)


Akdal project

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In November 2005, Urasia Energy Ltd. acquired a 70% interest in the Betpak Dala Joint Venture, which has a 100% interest in the Akdala uranium mine. Akdala is expected to reach full production of 2.6 million pounds U3O8 (1000 t U) in 2006, with a mine life of 12 years. On Feb. 27, 2006, Urasia announced it has secured its first sales contract over approximately 200,000 pounds U3O8 (77 t U) for delivery in 2006 to "a major Western utility company".

The Kazatomprom national nuclear company is starting to develop the Akdal uranium deposit in South Kazakhstan. An experimental installation for leaching underground has been commissioned On Nov. 9, 2001. The launch of this will enable three-year uranium leaching trials to be carried out and the financial profitability of the Akdal deposit to be assessed. (BBC Monitoring Service - UK, Nov 9, 2001)


Inkay (Inkai) project, Suzak region

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Inkay uranium in situ leach mine starts production

The Inkay uranium in situ leach mine, owned by joint venture of Cameco (60%) and Kazatomprom (40%), was officially opened. The mine's production capacity is to reach 2000 t U per year soon. (Kazakhstan today Jun. 5, 2010)

Penalty imposed on Inkay ISL mine for illegal waste dumping

The Kazakhstan environmental department has imposed a penalty of 9,118,000 Tenge (US$ 77,000) on the Inkay joint venture for dumping of the residues from solution processing without permit. (Kazakhstan Today Aug. 4, 2008)
As the Inkay joint venture refused to pay, the environmental department now turns to the administrative court for a forced penalty. (Kazakhstan Today Oct. 31, 2008)

Cameco and Kazatomprom to double future production of Inkai ISL mine

On May 28, 2007, Cameco Corporation announced it has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) with National Atomic Company Kazatomprom to pursue additional uranium production. The MOU provides for doubling future production from the Inkai uranium deposit, raising total annual production to 10.4 million pounds [4000 t U] on a timeframe to be confirmed.
Joint Venture Inkai (JVI), which consists of Cameco (60%) and Kazatomprom (40%), has regulatory approval to construct an in situ recovery mine and mill that is expected to achieve commercial production in 2008, ramping up to 5.2 million pounds [2000 t U] of annual production in 2010. While the existing project ownership would not change, Cameco's interest in additional capacity under the MOU would be 50% with the remainder held by Kazatomprom.

Inkay uranium ISL project receives first construction permit

Launching of mine in the site no. 4 of Inkai deposit is scheduled for 2007, and it will achieve planned capacity in the amount of 2000 tons of uranium concentrates per year in 2010. (KazAtomProm Oct. 7, 2005)

In August 2005, permission was obtained for the construction of the basic processing plant required for commercial production. (Kazatomprom Sep. 1, 2005)

Cameco to develop Inkai Uranium ISL Mine in Kazakhstan

On April 1, 2004, Cameco Corporation and the National Atomic Company of Kazakhstan (KazAtomProm) announced that they plan to develop the Inkai uranium deposit in Kazakhstan through their Inkai Joint Venture (JV Inkai). Cameco owns 60% of Inkai and KazAtomProm owns 40%. A total capital cost of $38 million (US) is estimated to build an in situ leach (ISL) mine.
Subject to regulatory approval, the mine is expected to achieve commercial production in 2007 and ramp up to 2.6 million pounds U3O8 [1000 t U] annually by 2009. Cameco estimates there are 91.5 million pounds U3O8 [35,194 t U] of proven and probable reserves that would provide an estimated mine life of well over 30 years.
JV Inkai began testing mining in 2002. In 2003 the test mine produced 0.2 million pounds U3O8 [77 t U] and is expected to continue to produce about 0.3 to 0.6 million pounds [115 to 230 t U] annually through 2007. (Cameco Apr. 1, 2004)

Inkai test ISL mine starts operation

In Kazakhstan, the Inkai test mine began operation in March 2002 with initial uranium production expected in late May 2002. (Cameco April 29, 2002)

Cameco to double investment in Inkay project

Cameco said it will double its investment in 2001 in the Inkai ISL project in Kazakhstan, which is undergoing geological evaluation. (UI News Briefing 01.07, Feb. 14, 2001; Cameco Feb. 6, 2001)

Cameco/KazAtomProm to assess potential of Inkay uranium project

Joint Venture Inkai, owned 60% by Cameco Corporation and 40% by National Atomic Company KazAtomProm, announced that it will proceed to assess the reserve and resource potential of the Inkai uranium deposit in Kazakhstan. This announcement was made possible after Joint Venture Inkai signed a resource use agreement with the government of Kazakhstan. This was a necessary step before the joint venture could exercise its rights under licences received in 1999 for uranium exploration and in situ leach (ISL) mining. (Cameco News Release July 21, 2000)


South Inkay ISL project

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South Inkai uranium ISL mine granted approval for commercial production

On Dec. 23, 2008, Uranium One Inc. announced that the Kazakh Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources has formally approved the commencement of industrial production at South Inkai. The approval was given by way of an amendment to the South Inkai subsoil use agreement and permits the Company's 70% owned Betpak Dala joint venture to ramp up production at the South Inkai Uranium Mine over the next three years to 5.2 million lbs U(3)O(8) [2,000 t U] per year.

South Inkai has a mine life of 28 years; full production of 1.6 million pounds U3O8 (600 t U) is expected in 2011. (UrAsia Feb. 20, 2006)


Budenovskoye deposit

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Sale of stake in Blocks 6 and 7 of Budenovskoye uranium mine to Russia prompted an exodus of senior managers at Kazatomprom: The sale of a stake in a massive new uranium mine to Russia prompted an exodus of senior managers at Kazakhstan's state-run miner.
The deal for part of the Budenovskoye mine, projected to become the world's biggest source of the radioactive metal, to Russia's nuclear power monopoly, Rosatom, went through at the end of last year, according to people familiar with the matter. The deal was pushed by Kazakhstan's sovereign wealth fund against the wishes of the leadership at miner Kazatomprom, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing a sensitive matter. [...]
At the end of last year, under instruction from the sovereign wealth fund, Kazatomprom didn't recommend the exercise of the state's right of first refusal on a 49% stake in the venture developing blocks 6 and 7 at Budenovskoye, the people said. That allowed Rosatom to step in and pursue the deal to buy the stake, they said. (mining.com May 16, 2023)

Uranium One Inc. is to acquire ARMZ's 50% interest in the Akbastau Uranium Mine. Production from Akbastau commenced in 2009 and totalled 1.0 million pounds U3O8 [385 t U]. Pregnant solutions from the well fields at site 1 at Akbastau are currently being treated at the Karatau processing facilities. Steady state production from Akbastau is expected to be 7.8 million pounds U3O8 [3,000 t U] per year. (Uranium One Inc. June 8, 2010)

Atomredmetzoloto (ARMZ), Russia's state-owned uranium mining holding, is buying up the Russian stakes in two Kazakhstan-based uranium mining joint ventures from Vasily Anisimov, co-owner of the Metalloinvest holding, ARMZ said in a press release. ARMZ is buying a 50%-interest in TOO Karatau and 25% of JSC Akbastau from Anisimov's Effective Energy N.V. for an undisclosed amount.
TOO Karatau is already mining uranium on a commercial basis: it produced 653 tonnes of uranium in 2008. Akbastau is in the pre-production phase and is due to start mining in 2009. (Interfax Jan. 27, 2009)

Launching of mine in the site no. 2 of Budenovskoye deposit is scheduled in 2008, and it will achieve planned capacity in the amount of 1000 tons of uranium concentrates per year in 2012. (KazAtomProm Oct. 7, 2005)


Muyunkum (Moinkum) project

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French nuclear group Areva's joint venture in Kazakhstan plans next year to complete an expansion that will take annual uranium production to 4,000 tonnes, the head of the joint venture said on Tuesday (June 21). KATCO, owned 51 percent by Areva and 49 percent by Kazakh state nuclear company Kazatomprom, expects to increase uranium output to 3,500 tonnes this year from 3,354 tonnes in 2010, General Director Konrad Schauer told a mining conference. He said KATCO, which produced 6.25 percent of the world's uranium in 2010, should be producing 4,000 tonnes annually from its mines in South Kazakhstan from 2012, the culmination of a $550 million investment programme since operations began. KATCO's two mines, Tortkuduk and Muyunkum, use the in-situ leaching process, drilling holes to recover uranium in an acid solution without the need to dig mine shafts or pits. Schauer said that mining 4,000 tonnes of uranium would require annual sulphuric acid consumption of 200,000 tonnes. (Reuters Jun. 21, 2011)

On June 23, 2006, AREVA and KAZATOMPROM started the commercial uranium production at the Muyunkum uranium ISL mine. Reaching the planned production capacity of 500 tons of uranium per year is planned in 2007. (Kazakhstan Today June 23, 2006)

On April 29, 2004, AREVA and KAZATOMPROM signed an agreement for the development of commercial production at the Kazakh Moinkum uranium deposit. After three years of successful operation of an experimental plant, the joint enterprise KATCO (AREVA 51%, Kazatomprom 49%), is now going to plan and construct a commercial production plant. The first uranium output is expected at the end of 2005 with a progressive rise in productivity to 1500 tons per year. The development of the mine requires investments of $90 million, financed by AREVA. (Kazakhstan Today Apr. 29, 2004)

The KATCO uranium joint venture started production of yellow cake in an experimental pattern at the southern Kazakh Moinkum deposit in early 2002. It is expected that 100 tonnes of yellow cake will be produced annually at the initial test stage of the project and in a year this will be increased to 1,000 tonnes a year. (BBC Monitoring Service March 4, 2002)

A pilot plant to process uranium concentrate with a capacity of 100 tonnes of uranium a year, built by the French-Kazakh KATCO joint venture, was scheduled to be accepted for commissioning by the state commission in February or March 2002. (BBC Monitoring Service Feb 8, 2002)

The Kazatomprom national nuclear company is starting to develop the Yuzhnyy Moinkum uranium deposit in South Kazakhstan. (BBC Monitoring Service - UK, Nov 9, 2001)

Katco - the Kazakh-French-Swiss joint uranium venture - is expected to start producing uranium from the Moynkum deposit in Kazakhstan as early as October 2001. The uranium would be produced via in-situ leaching (ISL) using sulphuric acid. The uranium processing plant is reportedly almost ready for commissioning. The plant will have an initial capacity of 100 tonnes U, with plans to increase to 1000 tonnes U in 2002. The Moynkum deposit has estimated reserves of 20,000 to 27,000 tonnes U. (WNA News Briefing 01.37, Sep 12, 2001)

Kazatomprom will bring the Yuzhny Moinkum uranium deposit into production later in 2000. (UI News Briefing 00.22, May 31, 2000)

The major French nuclear fuel cycle company Cogema and the state-controlled KATEP company have set up a joint venture, KATCO, to work on the development of uranium resources in Kazakhstan. KATEP is responsible for supervising the production and commercialisation of uranium in Kazakhstan, which holds 19% of the world's low-cost uranium reserves. An initial project of KATCO is to study the feasibility of using in situ leaching on deposits in Muyunkum.
In the last couple of years Kazakhstan has closed down its higher cost mining and now produces uranium solely by in situ leaching. [UIC Weekly News Summary 23 Aug 1996]

Zarechnoye ISL project

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South Zarechnoye uranium deposit will not be mined due to unfavourable exploration results and uranium price slump: "The Company determined that it would not be economical to mine the South Zarechnoye deposit due to the decrease in uranium prices since the Fukushima incident, together with a decrease in the South Zarechnoye resource base resulting from recent exploration results and the completion of an economic assessment." (Uranium One Inc. Nov. 5, 2012)

Uranium One Inc. is to acquire ARMZ's 49.67% interest in the Zarechnoye uranium mine. Production from Zarechnoye during 2008 was approximately 0.4 million pounds U3O8 [154 t U] and production in 2009 was approximately 1.3 million pounds U3O8 [500 t U]. Zarechnoye is expected to ramp up to full production of approximately 2.5 million pounds U3O8 [962 t U] per year by 2012.
The South Zarechnoye deposit is expected to become operational in 2014, with full production expected to be approximately 1.6 million pounds U3O8 [615 t U]. (Uranium One Inc. Jun. 8, 2010)

Uranium production at Zarechnoye starts on December 7, 2006. (RIA Novosti Dec. 7, 2006)

On June 22, 2006, Tekhsnabexport and the Russian-Kazakh-Kyrgyz uranium mining venture Zarechnoye signed a contract which presupposes supplies of $1 billion worth of uranium between now and 2022. Zarechnoye is planning to produce the first batch of uranium in the third quarter of 2006. Under the contract, the first shipment of uranium will be dispatched to Russia in January 2007.
Zarechnoye JV design capacity totals 1,000 tons of uranium a year, which will be hit in 2009. Estimated deposited resources at the field operator Zarechnoye JV totals 19,000 tons of uranium. The key owners are Tekhsnabexport and Kazatomprom, which hold 49.3 percent each. In addition, the Russian-based Atompredemtzoloto and Kyrgyz Kara-Baltin each hold 0.7 percent. The total investment of all participants into the joint venture development totals $60 million.
It is expected that uranium production and Kazakhstan's uranium supply to Russia will increase by up to 6,000 tons a year. (Mosnews 22 June 2006)

The Zarechnoye project will start producing uranium at the end of 2006, Russia's nuclear services export company Techsnabexport said. (RIA Novosti May 15, 2006)

Startup of uranium production at the Zarechnoye mine has been deferred to April or May 2006, instead of the previously announced summer 2005. Zarechnoye's director general Yuri Demekhov said the plans had been changed because the company had to stop construction activities to respect wishes of the local authorities and hunting experts who were against mining the deposit. He said that construction work at the mine only started June 2005 and that currently some 20% of the total construction work has been implemented at the property. (WNA News Briefing 05.33, Aug. 23, 2005)

Construction of the Zarechnoye in-situ leach uranium mine in Southern Kazakhstan has begun. Commercial production is scheduled to begin towards the end of the year 2005. The design capacity is 500 tonnes of uranium per year. Part of the pre-concentrates recovered from the mine will be sent to the Kyrgyz Kara-Balta mill for processing. (Kazakhstan today, Apr 21, 2004)

A renewed structure of the Joint Venture was announced as follows: Kazatomprom (Kazakhstan) - 45%; TVEL (Russia) - 20%, Techsnabexport (Russia) - 15%, Atomredmetzoloto (Russia) - 10%; and Kara-Balta (Kyrgyzstan) - 10%. (Kazatomprom Oct. 1, 2003)

Russia will provide $14.5 million for the construction of the Zarechnoye uranium mine in Kazakhstan, due to begin in 2004. The mine is due to go on stream by the end of 2005, when it should attain projected capacity of 500 tonnes of yellowcake, a spokesman for Kazatomprom, Kazakhstan's national nuclear concern, said. (Interfax Sep. 30, 2003)

The Zarechnoye joint venture, as the company will be called, will have a charter capital of US$ 30,000. Kazatomprom will own 45 per cent, Russia's Atomredmetzoloto 45 per cent and Kara Balta 10 per cent of the equity.
The Zarechnoye joint venture might produce about 500 tonnes of uranium concentrate per year in the next few years. A pre-feasibility study sets the cost of mining the Zarechnoye deposit at $8 million.
The deposit contains a proven 14,500 tonnes and probable 4,500 tonnes of uranium. (BBC/Interfax Oct. 10, 2001)

Russia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgystan have agreed to a joint venture to develop the Zarechnoye uranium deposit in western Kazakhstan, scheduled to be commissioned either later in 2001 or in early 2002. Uranium from the deposit will be processed at the Kara Balta Mining Co. An estimated 700 tonnes U3O8 will be produced annually from the project. (WNA News Briefing 01.33, August 15, 2001)

Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia will reportedly form a joint venture to exploit the Zarechnoye uranium deposit in western Kazakhstan. The Kara Balta uranium refining plant in Kyrgyzstan is said to have reached a related agreement on co-founding the joint venture. The Kara Balta facility has reportedly been refining up to 450 tU (530.7 tonnes U3O8) annually supplied from Kazakhstan. Uranium from the Zarechnoye deposit will be used to supply Russian nuclear power stations and therefore the Russian supplier Atomredmedzoloto is expected to participate in the project. (UI News Briefing 00.35, August 30, 2000)

A Kyrgyz-Kazakh-Russian joint venture to double the processing of uranium concentrates from Kazakh deposits at the Kara Balta processing complex in Kyrgyzstan is expected to start up in 2001. The Kara Balta plant currently processes about 450 tU3O8 (382 tU) per year, about 30-35% of its full capacity. (UI News Briefing 00.42, Oct. 18, 2000)

A joint venture to mine and process uranium from the Zarechnoye uranium deposit will be established during the first quarter of 2001. The joint venture - between Russia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan - would mine at Zarechnoye using the in-situ leach (ISL) method and produce up to 500 tonnes U3O8 (424 tU) annually. Milling of the uranium will take place at the Kara Balta mill in Kyrgyzstan, which is expected to produce at least 350 tonnes U3O8 (297 tU) annually for the joint venture. The initial stage of a mining and milling complex at Zarechnoye is expected to come online in 2002. (UI News Briefing 00.51, Dec. 20, 2000)

Zhalpak project (ISL), Chu-Sarysu district

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A Chinese (CNNC)-Kazatomprom joint venture is being set up to develop the deposit. This could produce up to 1000 tU/yr from resources of 15,000 tU, starting in 2014. (WNA Nov. 2012)


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