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(last updated 12 Jun 2024)



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Kazatomprom struggles with adversities against reaching 2024 uranium production target

National Atomic Company Kazatomprom expects its 2024 production to be adjusted due to the challenges related to the availability of sulphuric acid, a critical operating material, as well as delays in completing construction works at the newly developed deposits, however remains committed to its 2024 delivery obligations.
While actively pursuing alternative sulphuric acid supplies, current projections indicate that the Company's intention to achieve 90% production volume as per Subsoil Use Agreements in 2024 may be challenging. (Kazatomprom Jan. 12, 2024)

Kazatomprom to end uranium production cuts in 2025

Kazatomprom's Board of directors has approved the Company's strategy to increase production volumes in 2025 to a 100% level relative to Subsoil Use Agreements.
Kazatomprom has shown strong market discipline for seven consecutive years keeping its production 20% below total Subsoil Use Contracts level, and the Company remains committed to its decision in relation to 2024 production (minus 10% against the Subsoil Use Contracts level). (Kazatomprom Sep. 29, 2023)

Kazakhstan's uranium production decreased by 2.7% in 2022

The world's largest uranium producer, Kazakhstan's Kazatomprom, saw its attributable output fell by 4.1% last year to 11,373 tonnes of uranium, down from 11,858 tonnes in 2021.
In total, uranium production in Kazakhstan (100% of Kazatomprom and its partners' production) was 21,227 tonnes in 2022, down 2.7% from the previous year's 21,819 tonnes. (Northern Miner Jan. 27, 2023)

Kazatomprom seeks extra shipping capacity for uranium ore concentrate, bypassing Russia

Kazatomprom, the world's biggest uranium miner, is seeking to boost the capacity of its alternative shipping route which bypasses Russia to mitigate risks from potential sanctions, the Kazakh company said on Wednesday (Oct. 26).
Landlocked Kazakhstan has traditionally shipped most of its key exports such as oil through Russia. Kazatomprom said it shipped products via the Russian port of St. Petersburg throughout the third quarter with no issues.
"However, the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR), which the company has successfully used as an alternative route since 2018, helps to mitigate the risk of the primary route being unavailable, for any reason," it said in a statement.
The route goes from Kazakhstan via the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan and then Georgia from where products can be shipped through Black Sea ports. (Reuters Oct. 26, 2022)
> Download: Kazatomprom 3Q22 Operations and Trading Update , Oct. 26, 2022 (152kB PDF)

On Dec. 20, 2022, Kazatomprom announced it has completed a physical delivery of natural uranium using the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR). [...] the delivery, which included both Kazatomprom and JV Inkai owned uranium, has arrived to a Canadian port.
> See also: Export of uranium ore concentrate from Inkay ISL uranium mine (Kazakhstan) to Blind River Refinery (Ontario) still on hold, while Cameco seeking shipping route without Russian involvement

On Apr. 5, 2023, Kazatomprom announced it has successfully delivered uranium for Romania's Cernavodă nuclear power plant via the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route.

Value of Kazakh uranium exports to Russia almost doubled in Jan.-Aug. 2022

In January-August 2022, the value of Kazakh uranium exports to Russia increased by 97%, or by $256.4 million (from $264.2 to $520.6 million) from the same period in 2021. With a share of 10.4%, this makes uranium the top commodity exported from Kazakhstan to Russia. (Kazakhstan Today Oct. 13, 2022)

Kazatomprom to reduce uranium production cuts in 2024

Kazatomprom's Board of Directors has approved a strategy to revise the Company's 2024 production volume down by approximately 10% compared to the total Subsoil Use Contract level of 28,691 tU, disclosed in its most recent 2021 Competent Person's Report.
The decision to shift production from minus 20% in 2023 to approximately minus 10% in 2024 is based primarily on Kazatomprom's continued success in signing mid- and long-term contracts with new and existing customers. (Kazatomprom Aug. 19, 2022)

Value of Kazakhstan's uranium exports decreased by 36.9%

Following the results of 9 months, the volume of uranium exports from Kazakhstan decreased by 36.9% to $ 0.8 billion, KAZAKHSTAN TODAY reports. (Kazakhstan Today Dec. 29, 2021)

Kazatomprom announces physical uranium fund

Kazatomprom has announced it is to participate in a physical uranium fund, ANU Energy OEIC Limited , established on the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC). The fund will hold physical uranium as a long-term investment, with its initial USD50 million of purchases financed by its founders and plans to raise USD500 million for additional uranium purchases in a second development stage.
The initial USD50 million is sourced from Kazatomprom at 48.5%, National Investment Corporation of the National Bank of Kazakhstan (NIC) at 48.5%, and UAE-based investment company Genchi Global Limited at 3%. Genchi is to be the fund manager. (WNN Oct. 18, 2021)

Kazatomprom may buy uranium on the spot market

Kazatomprom, the world's largest uranium producer, may buy the nuclear fuel in the spot market after a London-listed investment company exercised an option to purchase the metal.
Yellow Cake , which bets on uranium prices, said on Monday that it had exercised a $100-million purchase option with Kazatomprom. Yellow Cake also said it plans to make additional purchases if it sees value opportunities. (Mining Weekly Mar. 17, 2021)

New contract for uranium export from Kazakhstan to India expected by year-end 2020

Kazakhstan and India have held talks on cooperation in the field of peaceful use of atomic energy, the press-service of the Kazakh Energy Ministry said on October 1. "[...] Following the meeting, the parties got that agreements on a new contract for the supply of Kazakh uranium [to India] will be reached by the end of this year," the Kazakh Energy Ministry said. (New Europe Oct. 1, 2020)

Kazatomprom extends uranium production cuts into 2022

On Aug. 19, 2020, Kazatomprom announced its intention to continue flexing down production by 20% through 2022, compared to the planned levels under Subsoil Use Contracts. The Company is also maintaining its 20% reduction against Subsoil Use Contracts in 2021, with no additional production planned to replace volumes lost in 2020, which was due to the measures taken to combat COVID-19.

Kazatomprom expects up to 4,000 t U decrease in uranium production in 2020 due to COVID-19 impact

The measures taken by Kazatomprom to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus are expected to remain in place for three months, resulting in a lower level of wellfield development activity and, in consequence, a reduction in production volumes. Based on that assumption, the Company expects Kazakhstan's 2020 annual uranium production volume to decrease by up to 4,000 tU from previous expectations (previously 22,750 tU to 22,800 tU on a 100% basis), although the precise impact on production may vary from this estimate. (Kazatomprom Apr. 7, 2020)

On July 6, 2020, Kazatomprom announced that it is extending the period of reduced operational activity for an additional month.

On Aug. 3, 2020, Kazatomprom announced that its mine sites are expected to be back to normal staff levels within two to three weeks.

Kazakh ex-uranium boss released early after 10 years in jail for corruption

A court in Kazakhstan on Tuesday (Mar. 3) freed the former head of the world's largest uranium producer, who is one of the country's best-known political prisoners, after a decade behind bars. Mukhtar Djakishev, 56, who led the state uranium giant Kazatomprom for over 10 years prior to his arrest on embezzlement charges in 2009, was considered a political prisoner by international rights groups.
The decision of a court in the northeastern city of Semey to release Djakishev with less than four years of his 14-year sentence remaining came after appeals for early release were rejected last year and in 2018. (AFP Mar. 3, 2020)

Kazatomprom announces extension of 20% cut to uranium production through 2021

On Aug. 20, 2019, JSC National Atomic Company "Kazatomprom" announced its intention to continue to flex down production by 20% through 2021, compared to the planned levels under Subsoil Use Contracts.
The decision to extend production curtailment reflects the fact that the uranium market is still recovering from a period of oversupply, and uranium prices remain low.
The full implementation of this decision would remove up to 5,600 tU from anticipated global primary supply in 2021.

Kazatomprom plans 20% cut to uranium production in 2019

On May 2, 2019, Kazatomprom announced that production is expected to total approximately 22,750 to 22,800 tU (100% basis) in 2019; without the reduction, production would have exceeded 28,500 tU (100% basis) in 2019.

Kazakhstan to start uranium exports to Ukraine

Kazakhstan will start exporting uranium to Ukraine. A national nuclear company has won a tender for export of uranium oxide concentrate.
Gennadiy Kobal, Director, International Expert Company: The tender was announced for a total purchase of 1,200 tonnes. According to our information, volumes will be lower, which is approximately 1000 tonnes. (Khabar Agency Nov. 19, 2018)

Kazakhstan exports uranium to Sweden

Kazakhstan concluded a contract with Swedish Company Vattenfall AB for the supply of natural uranium. The commercial cooperation agreement was signed between Kazatomprom†group†and Vattenfall AB†based on the results of a tender for procurement of nuclear fuel for the needs of their NPPs. (Kazatomprom June 14, 2018)

Kazakh uranium exports to Iran delayed

Kazakh national company Kazatomprom plans to begin its supplying uranium to Iran after permission of "The Six", the company's chairman, Galymzhan Pirmatov, said in Astana on December 21.
"According to the UN Security Council resolution, the delivery of uranium concentrate to Iran can be possible only after the permission of the six countries - China, Germany, USA, France, Britain, Russia. Due to the fact that obtaining permission is delayed, Kazatomprom extended the contract with Iran until 2020. The delivery of uranium from Kazakhstan to Iran is planned during 2018-2020, but after the permission of 'The Six,'" Pirmatov said.
He recalled that the countries signed a contract on the supply of natural uranium concentrate to Iran in April 2016. Kazatomprom, according to the contract, planned to begin deliveries of uranium to Iran this year. (New Europe Dec. 22, 2017)

Miracles of Kazakh uranium in situ leach technology - continued

After having learned about the "unique capability of self-restoration" of Kazakh soils rendering superfluous any restoration efforts after the shutdown of uranium in situ leach mines (view details), the gentle reader is now presented with another mystery:
"In our country, many uranium mines are being developed in the basin of the main waterway of the south of Kazakhstan - the Syr Darya. Historically, in these areas, for example, in Kzyl-Orda, rice growing is also developing. We extract uranium virtually between rice paddies flooded in water, and never once did a drop of PR solutions fall onto the agricultural land," Yuri Vazhinskiy [department head at NAC Kazatomprom] said. (ARMZ Dec. 5, 2017 - emphasis added)
In view of the long list of spills of in situ leach uranium mines all over the world, this constitutes another miracle.

Kazakhstan to reduce uranium output by another 20% from 2018 due to depressed market

Kazakhstan plans to produce a total of 21,600 mt of uranium in 2018, a decrease of almost 20% compared with the previously forecast 27,000 mt, Riaz Rizvi, Kazatomprom's chief commercial officer said in an interview. Rizvi said the company also planned to implement similar production cuts of around 20% in 2019 and 2020. (Platts Oct. 23, 2018)
[In 2017, Kazakhstan produced 23,391 t U.]

On Dec. 4, 2017, NAC Kazatomprom JSC announced its intention to reduce planned uranium production by 20%, in order to better align its output with demand. The scheduled cuts will be enacted for a period of three years commencing January 2018. This will result in the production deferral of 11,000 tonnes over the period, of which an estimated 4,000 tonnes in 2018 alone representing approximately 7.5% of global uranium production for 2018 as forecast by UxC.

Kazakhstan and United Arab Emirates plan nuclear cooperation, including uranium supply

On Sep. 11, 2017, JSC NAC Kazatomprom and Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) announced the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding in Astana on the 5th†of September, 2017.
This MOU reflects the intent by the parties to extend the strong relationship between Kazakhstan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) through cooperation in the field of†peaceful nuclear fuel and power generation. The MOU covers the supply of natural uranium to UAE†nuclear energy plants as well as the potential for future cooperation in the areas of fuel fabrication, the exchange of expertise in nuclear†energy plant construction and other areas of the nuclear fuel cycle.

Iran plans to buy 950 tonnes of uranium from Kazakhstan

Iran plans to buy 950 tonnes of uranium ore [presumably uranium in ore concentrate] from Kazakhstan over three years and expects to get Russian help in producing nuclear fuel, its top nuclear official said in remarks published on Saturday (Feb. 25). The acquisition would not violate Iran's landmark 2015 deal with world powers over its disputed nuclear program as the deal did not set limits on the Islamic Republic's supplies of uranium ore.
"About 650 tonnes is to be delivered in two shipments over two years and 300 tonnes during the third year and this shipment is to be returned to Kazakhstan (after enrichment)," Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, told ISNA in an interview. (Reuters Feb. 25, 2017)

Kazakhstan to reduce uranium output by 10% in 2017 due to depressed market

On Jan. 10, 2017, Kazatomprom Chairman, Askar Zhumagaliyev, announced that due to the prolonged recovery in the uranium market, planned 2017 production from Republic of Kazakhstan will be reduced by approximately 10%. This will amount to a volume greater than 2,000 MtU or more than 5 million lb U3O8 reduction in 2017 planned output.

Groundwater quality at uranium in situ leach mines in Kazakhstan to be jeopardized further from use of ammonium bifluoride to prevent plugging of wells

On July 19, 2016, Kazatomprom announced that, after conducting successful tests, it intends to use ammonium bifluoride at its uranium in situ leach mine joint ventures with Uranium One to prevent the plugging of wells. The new technique was first tested at Zarechnoye and Kharassan.

While the use of ammonium has been abandoned with uranium in situ leaching in the U.S., since it makes groundwater restoration more difficult, Kazatomprom now even wants to add the fluoride, leading to long-term groundwater impacts. Nevertheless, Kazatomprom claims that "Regularly conducted analyzes of formation waters show the high environmental safety of this method."

Kazakhstan will resume supply of uranium to India

This year Kazakhstan will resume uranium sales to India. This was in an interview with Kazakhstan's ambassador in India Bulat Sarsenbayev on the sidelines of a meeting of the Kazakh-Indian Business Council.
"We have in 2014 concluded a contract for the supply of uranium to India. We are in the last year during the visit of Prime Minister Modi in Kazakhstan signed a new contract begin delivery of our uranium again this year, so that turnover will rise" - said B. Sarsenbayev. (Kazatomprom May 19, 2016)

Kazakhstan may reclaim some uranium mining assets from Joint Ventures with foreign companies

Kazakhstan, the world's largest uranium producer, may take back some assets from the joint ventures it has set up in the nuclear sector, President Nursultan Nazarbayev said on Tuesday (Mar. 15).
Some joint venture partners of state nuclear firm Kazatomprom "are not meeting their obligations", Nazarbayev said at a meeting with Kazatomprom Chief Executive Askar Zhumagaliyev, the president's office said in a statement. "In this regard it is necessary to either ensure that they (partners) meet their obligations or look into reclaiming those assets in the interests of our state," Nazarbayev's office quoted him as saying. It provided no details and Kazatomprom could not be reached for comment.
Kazatomprom has joint ventures with French firm Areva, Canada's Cameco, Japan's Sumitomo Corp and Kansai Electric Power, several Russian firms including Rosatom and a few Chinese companies. Kazakhstan produced 23,800 tonnes of uranium last year. Kazatomprom's share of total output was 13,000 while its joint venture partners accounted for the remainder. (Reuters Mar. 15, 2016)

> View ownership details of Kazakh uranium deposits

Russia and Kazakhstan sign road map for development of uranium deposits in Kazakhstan

Russia and Kazakhstan signed a road map for the development of promising uranium deposits in Kazakhstan. The road map covers, among others, the development of the Kharasan-1, Akdala, and South Inkai fields. According to the document, the related contracts are to be signed by Oct. 28, 2014. (RIA Novosti May 29, 2014)
> See also: Court invalidates Uranium One Corp.'s subsoil use rights in three uranium in situ leach mines

Kazakh uranium mines to produce scandium by-product

A joint venture between Kazakhstan's national atomic company Kazatomprom and Uranium One Holding plans to launch scandium production at uranium mines in Kazakhstan, Novosti-Kazakhstan reported citing Uranium One President Vadim Zhivov. Another participant in the project is Russia's Intermix Met , which has developed a cost-effective technology of scandium extraction during the process of uranium production. (The Times of Central Asia Apr. 1, 2014)

Court invalidates Uranium One Corp.'s subsoil use rights in three uranium in situ leach mines - agreement signed on new rights

On March 27, 2014, Uranium One Inc. announced that the Special Inter-District Economic Court for the City of Astana (Republic of Kazakhstan) on March 26, 2014 issued an order having the effect of invalidating the original transfers in 2004 and 2005 from Kazatomprom to the Company's Betpak Dala and Kyzylkum joint ventures of the subsoil use contracts for the Akdala, South Inkai and Kharasan fields.
On June 5, 2014,†Uranium One Inc. announced†that the Astana City Court has dismissed the appeal of the Company's Betpak Dala and Kyzylkum joint ventures against the March 26, 2014 Kazakh court order invalidating the Akdala, South Inkai and Kharasan subsoil use contracts.
Uranium One also announced that its parent company, Rosatom , and Kazatomprom, the Company's Kazakh joint venture partner, have signed an agreement providing for the issuance of new subsoil use rights on the same terms for the Akdala, South Inkai and Kharasan uranium fields by October 28, 2014.

Kazatomprom acquires 40% share in caustic soda plant

On Dec. 3, 2013, Kazatomprom announced that it has acquired 40% of the shares in JSC Caustic in the special economic zone Pavlodar.
At the facilities of JSC Caustic it is planned to establish a number of import-substituting productions related to Kazatomprom's activity. Specifically, it is suggested to fabricate of own caustic soda and hydrogen peroxide, used at uranium mining and processing, as well as chlorine for the production of rare and rare-earth metals and reagents. The plant's production of caustic soda is to be raised from the current 30,000 t to 90,000 t per year.

Kazatomprom scraps uranium mine expansion projects

Kazakhstan, the world's biggest producer of uranium, called off all projects to increase output of the metal following a slump in prices. "We've put the brakes on implementing uranium output expansions," Vladimir Shkolnik, chief executive officer of state-owned producer Kazatomprom, said in an interview. "The same goes for other elements of the nuclear-fuel cycle." (Bloomberg Nov. 8, 2013)

Kazakhstan's uranium production increased further in 2012

On Jan. 24, 2013, Kazatomprom announced that Kazakhstan's total uranium production in 2012 was 20,900 tonnes (an increase of 7.5% over the 2011 figure). Kazakhstan remained the world's leading uranium producer with approximately 37% of the world's total uranium production volume, which made up, under the preliminary data, 55,700 tU.
> See also: World Annual Uranium Production 2011

KazAtomProm to raise its share in the national uranium reserves up to 52% in 2012

KazAtomProm National Nuclear Company plans to raise its share in the national uranium reserves up to 52% in 2012 through buying out stakes in JVs and more active exploration works, Newskaz.ru reports, citing KazAtomProm National Nuclear Company Head Vladimir Shkolnik as saying August 15. "At the start of 2009 KazAtomProm owned 41.8% of uranium mines already regulated by actual contracts. Foreign partners owned the other 48.2% [?!?]. The then contracts impaired interests of KazAtomProm and of Kazakhstan. Many things have been revisited. By December 2012 KazAtomProm's share will stand at 52%", Mr. Shkolnik said. (Tengri News Aug. 15, 2012)

Kazatomprom signs uranium supply contract with Chinese

On Nov. 11, 2010, Kazatomprom and China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corporation (CGNPC) signed a long-term contract for the supply of natural uranium concentrates. The details of the agreement were not revealed. (Kazakhstan Today Nov. 11, 2010)

Kazakhstan to increase uranium exports to China

Kazakhstan will increase uranium shipments to China after its state nuclear company agreed a supply contract on Saturday (June 12). Kazatomprom will supply uranium to China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corporation (CGNPC), details of which were not disclosed. CGNPC -- which operates over 40 percent of China's nuclear power generating capacity -- said in April 2009 it would develop a uranium deposit in Kazakhstan with reserves of 40,000 tonnes together with Kazatomprom. China plans to import a total of 24,200 tonnes of Kazakh uranium between 2008 and 2012. (Reuters Jun. 12, 2010)

Kazakh ex-uranium boss sentenced to 14 years in jail for corruption

A Kazakh court sentenced a former uranium tycoon to 14 years in jail for theft and corruption on Friday (Mar. 12) in a case that has alarmed foreign investors working in the former Soviet republic. One of Kazakhstan's most prominent business figures, Mukhtar Dzhakishev was arrested last year on accusations of corruption, theft and illegal sales of uranium assets to foreign companies. The trial was held behind closed doors and involved hearings only into theft and corruption accusations. "Prosecutors asked for 14 years. The court agreed with this decision," Dzhakishev's lawyer Nurlan Beisekeyev told reporters outside the court room. He said Dzhakishev planned to appeal the decision. Dzhakishev, head of state uranium major Kazatomprom from 1998 until his arrest, has denied the accusations. (Reuters Mar. 12, 2010)

Kazakhstan world's largest uranium producer in 2009

Kazakhstan will produce 13,900 tonnes of uranium this year and 18,000 tonnes in 2010, state nuclear company Kazatomprom said on Wednesday (Dec. 30), raising earlier forecasts. The Central Asian state became the world's largest uranium producer this year and has been responsible for the bulk of global output growth in the last few years. Kazakhstan produced 8,521 tonnes of uranium last year, up from 6,637 tonnes in 2007. (Reuters Dec. 30, 2009)

Romania wants to buy uranium from Kazakhstan

Romania wants long-term contracts for uranium in Kazakhstan needed for the operation of two future nuclear reactors (Cernavodă 3 & 4). Economy Ministry State Secretary Tudor Serban said today (Tues): "The proposal met with a positive reaction. Talks will continue." (Romanian Times Sep 15, 2009)

Uranium One to invest in Russian sulfuric acid plant as backup for its in-situ leach uranium mines in Kazakhstan

Uranium One Inc. said it plans to invest around $20 million in a Russian sulphuric acid plant as a back-up to secure supply. "We intend to invest in a plant in Russia as a source of secure supply should there be another disruption in Kazakhstan," chief executive Neal Froneman told Reuters in an interview. (Reuters Jan. 8, 2008)

Kazatomprom builds new sulphuric acid production plant to meet unfulfilled demand of uranium in-situ leach mines

The construction of the sulfuric acid plant in Zhanakorgan region, Kyzylorda oblast has been completed. The construction of the plant is aimed at providing the uranium industry of the Republic of Kazakhstan with sulfuric acid which is the main reagent in the technology of uranium production by ISL method. The plant will supply sulfuric acid to the ISL mines based on the uranium deposits Khorassan-1, Khorassan-2, Northern and Southern Karamurun. Kazakhstan block sulfur will be the raw material for production. The plant's design capacity is expected to be 500,000 tons of sulfuric acid per year, or 1500 tons per day. Project's total cost is reported to be US$ 216 million. (Kazatomprom Dec. 9, 2011)
On August 31, 2009, a solemn ceremony of laying a capsule into foundation of a new sulfuric acid plant in Zhanakorgan region, Kyzylorda oblast, took place. The sulfuric acid project is being implemented in partnership with foreign investors - Marubeni Corp., TEPCO (Japan) and Uranium One (Canada). The design capacity of the plant will be 500,000 tons of sulfuric acid per year, i.e. 1,500 tons per day. The start of operation is scheduled for the 4th quarter 2011. Primary consumers of sulfuric acid will be two new ISL sites in Zhanakorgan region, namely, Khorassan-1 and Khorassan-2, as well as ISL mines in Shieli settlement - Irkol and Karamurun. (Kazatomprom Aug. 31, 2009)
Kazakhstan's state nuclear company plans to build a 500,000-tonne-per-year sulphuric acid plant by 2010 to meet a shortfall of the main chemical reagent used in its uranium production. Kazatomprom, the world's third-largest uranium producer, said it would build the plant in southern Kazakhstan to serve two new mines being built in Kyzylorda region, which together will mine 5,000 tonnes a year of uranium. "Construction will begin in March 2008. We plan to put the plant into production in the second quarter of 2010," an official from Kazatomprom's press service said by telephone. (Reuters Nov. 13, 2007)
On November 7, 2007, public hearings took place in Zhanakorgan (Kyzylorda region) on the project of construction of sulfuric acid plant on the territory of Zhanakorgan area and the estimation of environmental impact in accordance with the requirements of the Ecological Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan. (Kazatomprom Nov. 13, 2007)


China to get stake in uranium mine in Kazakhstan

China will get a stake in a 2,000-ton-a-year uranium mine in Kazakhstan in exchange for its share in a uranium-processing business, state-owned Kazatomprom said. Output may even exceed 2,000 metric tons because of rising Chinese demand, Kazatomprom President Moukhtar Dzhakishev said at a press conference. The Kazakh uranium miner will get access to Chinese assets, he said, without elaborating. Kazatomprom said it signed agreements in Beijing with China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group Co and China National Nuclear Corp, the country's largest producers of atomic energy. The Chinese companies will create joint ventures with Kazatomprom to produce uranium, while enabling Kazatomprom to invest in the Chinese nuclear industry, the Kazakh miner said after the signing. The uranium will be sold to China as nuclear fuel, it said. (China Daily Nov. 13, 2007)


Fire at sulfuric acid plant affects uranium production

A fire at a sulfuric acid production plant has led to rationing in Kazakhstan. KazAtomProm said supply problems should be resolved by the end of the year but it might have to revise uranium production forecasts for early 2008. Sulfuric acid is used as the main chemical reagent in in-situ leaching (ISL) uranium production, which is able to extract uranium with no need for excavation. In addition to disruption by fire at one plant, the start-up of some new facilities has also been delayed. The result has been rationing of acid, which could continue into the second quarter of 2008. The problem is particularly important for Kazakh uranium mining, which predominantly uses ISL and requires large amounts of non-reusable sulfuric acid to counter the neutralising effect of the high carbonate content of Kazakh orebodies. (WNA Nov. 5, 2007)


European Union plans to procure more uranium from Kazakhstan

The EU has put forward plans for procuring more uranium from Kazakhstan for Europe's nuclear industry. The EU's executive body has urged EU governments to agree a deal worth 500 million euros ($630 million) to help boost uranium supplies from Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan has the world's fifth-largest reserves of uranium. According to the EU, it currently accounts for only 3% of uranium imports into the EU. Any agreement between the EU and Kazakhstan must ultimately be ratified by EU member states. (BBC News Oct. 24, 2006)


Kazatomprom to obtain shares in Russian and French enrichment plants in exchange for uranium deliveries?

Kazatomprom is conducting negotiations with Russian and French companies to obtain shares in uranium enrichment plants in these countries in exchange for uranium deliveries. It is not clear yet whether Kazatomprom's share in Russian plants will be in existing or in new enrichment plants. The negotiations are to be completed by early 2007. (Kazakhstan Today May 23, 2006; Interfax Kazakhstan May 24, 2006)
In this context, it is highly interesting that the French Eurodif gaseous diffusion enrichment plant is to be replaced by a centrifuge enrichment plant using Urenco technology (view details).


Kazakhstan exporting uranium to China since 2001

Kazatomprom started uranium exports to China four years ago, supplying the first foreign uranium to China. Kazakhstan and China now plan to extend their strategic partnership in the nuclear fuel area. (Kazatomprom Dec. 23, 2005)


Kyzylorda Province

Karamurun · North Kharasan

Karamurun mine (ISL), Syr-Darya district

> View deposit info

Operation of Karamurun in situ leach uranium mine permitted to continue until 2040

On 20 January 2023, RU-6 LLP and the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan signed an addendum to the uranium mining contract for the Northern Karamurun and Southern Karamurun deposits. The addendum provides for the extension of the validity period of subsoil use rights through to 2040. (Kazatomprom Jan. 23, 2023)

> View older issues


North Kharasan mine, Syr-Darya district

> View deposit info

Russia and Kazakhstan sign road map for development of uranium deposits in Kazakhstan

> View here

Court invalidates Uranium One Corp.'s subsoil use rights in three uranium in situ leach mines

> View here

Kharasan Uranium Project at commissioning stage, still awaiting operating license

The Kharasan Uranium Project has commenced production but is in the commissioning stage. Commissioning will be completed when a pre-defined operating level, based on the design of the plant, is maintained and the Kazakhstan Government has issued an operating license. (Uranium One Inc. Nov. 7, 2011)

Toshiba develops technology for by-product recovery of rare earths from uranium in situ leach mining

Toshiba Corp. said Monday (Nov. 29) it has developed technology for recovering rare-earth minerals in the process of extracting uranium from a uranium mine. The major machinery maker said it plans to begin trials for the technology at a Kazakhstan mine possibly by the end of this year.
To extract the uranium, Toshiba has developed special electrode materials to extract rare-earth minerals dissolved in sulfuric acid poured into holes at a uranium mine. Toshiba said the technology can recover about 5 percent of the rare earths used as magnet materials in Japan and it aims to commercialize the technology around 2012. (Mainichi Nov. 30, 2010)

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South Kazakhstan

General · Akdal · Budenovskoye · Inkay · Kandjugan · Munkuduk (Mynkuduk) · Muyunkum (Moinkum) · South Inkay · South Tortkuduk


Kazatomprom plans construction of new sulfuric acid plant in Sozak district

JSC National Atomic Company "Kazatomprom" announces the receipt of a certificate of state registration of a new enterprise Taiqonyr Qyshqyl Zauyty LLP, established in order to implement the project for the construction of a sulfuric acid plant in the Sozak district of Turkestan region. The founders of the Partnership were: NAC Kazatomprom JSC (49%), RU-6 LLP (25%), Kazatomprom-SaUran LLP (26%).
Currently, a feasibility study of the project is being completed and a potential investor is being selected. The start of construction of the sulfuric acid plant is planned in 2024, and the start of production and reaching full design capacity are expected in 2026.
Sulfuric acid is the main reagent used in uranium mining by in-situ leaching method [in Kazakhstan].
The enterprise will be able to provide the production of sulfuric acid with a capacity of 800 thousand tons per year. At the same time, the plant will simultaneously generate 25-30 MWh of electricity from heat utilization, most of which will be sold to the Company's subsidiaries in the energy-deficient region. (Kazatomprom Apr. 24, 2023)

Uranium mines in South Kazakhstan hit by storm

In an epicenter of the storm that have occurred in South regions of the Republic of Kazakhstan on January 13, 2013 were the villages near which “NAC “Kazatomprom” JSC's mining enterprises are located.
Debauchery of the environment was in Sozak region of South-Kazakhstan oblast. As a result, several villages, including Kyzymshek and Taukent, where the large-scale uranium mining enterprises of “NAC “Kazatomprom” JSC are located, sustained great damages.
The wind gusting, according to the various data, from 45 to 53 meters per second, fell 56 towers of overhead transmission lines HVL-110, owned by “NAC “Kazatomprom” JSC. As a result the villages Kyzymshek, Taukent and uranium mining enterprises: “Taukent mining chemical enterprise” LLP (TMCE is the part of “Mining company” LLP), joint venture “Katco” with the French company AREVA, mining enterprise “Ortalyk” and Kazakhstan-Japanese enterprise “APPAK” LLP were de-energized.
Due to the weather conditions and transmission line breakage, mining operation in Sozak region was suspended.
The village Taukent has suffered more from the storm. On January 12 the water inlet has stopped working because of the energy tripping. Infrastructure and education facilities, steamshop and the only medical unit in the village were seriously damaged. The coverings and roofs of the buildings were disturbed, the windows were broken. All obligations on reconstructing these facilities were undertaken by “NAC “Kazatomprom” JSC. (Kazatomprom Feb. 1, 2013)


Akdal mine (ISL), Chu-Sarysu district

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Russia and Kazakhstan sign road map for development of uranium deposits in Kazakhstan

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Court invalidates Uranium One Corp.'s subsoil use rights in three uranium in situ leach mines

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Budenovskoye deposit

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[According to Kazatomprom's 2022 Annual Report, commercial operation of block No. 6 and 7 is planned in 2023.]

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Inkay mine (ISL), Chu-Sarysu district

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Kazatomprom obtains approval for in situ leach mining of Inkai #3 uranium deposit

On June 12, 2024, National Atomic Company "Kazatomprom" JSC announced it has signed a new subsoil use agreement for pilot production at Inkai 3 deposit.

Kazatomprom seeks approval for in situ leach mining of Inkai #3 uranium deposit

JSC National Atomic Company Kazatomprom plans to start production at a new uranium deposit. In accordance with the Codex of the Republic of Kazakhstan "On Subsoil and Subsoil Use", Kazatomprom and the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan held direct negotiations for subsoil use rights for Inkai #3 deposit.
Subsoil Use Agreement will be signed based on project documents with a validity of 25 years, including pilot production phase. For the purpose of mining uranium at Inkai #3 deposit, it is planned to construct operating assets with an annual capacity of 4,000 tU.
Inkai deposit is located in the Suzak district of Turkestan region. Uranium resources at Inkai #3 deposit amount to 83.1 ktU. (Kazatomprom June 26, 2023)

Shipment of uranium ore concentrate from Inkay ISL uranium mine (Kazakhstan) to Blind River Refinery (Ontario) via Trans-Caspian route delayed in transit

JV Inkai has continued to experience delays in shipping its finished product via the Trans-Caspian route. The first shipment of our share of JV Inkai's 2022 production has been dispatched at the end of September but is delayed in transit. We continue to work closely with JV Inkai and our joint venture partner, Kazatomprom, to begin receiving our production share via this shipping route that doesn't rely on Russian rail lines or ports, however, there are no assurances regarding the timeline for resolution of this delay. (Cameco Oct. 27, 2022)

Export of uranium ore concentrate from Inkay ISL uranium mine (Kazakhstan) to Blind River Refinery (Ontario) still on hold, while Cameco seeking shipping route without Russian involvement

"JV Inkai shipments still delayed: We continue to work with Inkai and our joint venture partner, Kazatomprom, to secure an alternate shipping route that doesn't rely on Russian rail lines or ports. In the meantime, we continue to delay shipment of our share of Inkai production destined for our Blind River refinery. Year-to-date we have taken no deliveries from our share of Inkai's 2022 production. While the work on enabling shipping via the Trans-Caspian route continues, we have no confirmed date for when the first shipment with our share of Inkai's production will proceed via that route." (Cameco July 27, 2022)

> See also: Kazatomprom seeks extra shipping capacity for uranium ore concentrate, bypassing Russia

Inkay in situ leach uranium mine obtains right to double uranium production to 4,000 t U per year and continue operation until 2045(!)

Cameco Corporation announced that the restructuring of Joint Venture Inkai LLP (JV Inkai) outlined in the implementation agreement dated May 27, 2016 with Joint Stock Company National Atomic Company Kazatomprom and JV Inkai closed today and will take effect on January 1, 2018. This restructuring was subject to obtaining all required government approvals including an amendment to JV Inkai's existing Resource Use Contract with the Republic of Kazakhstan, which have been obtained. The amendment to the Resource Use Contract provides as follows: Under the implementation agreement, Cameco's ownership interest in JV Inkai will be adjusted to 40% [from 60%] and Kazatomprom's ownership interest in JV Inkai will be adjusted to 60% [from 40%] on January 1, 2018.
Cameco and Kazatomprom have also completed a feasibility study to evaluate the design, construction and operation of a uranium refinery in Kazakhstan with the capacity to produce 6,000 tU annually as uranium trioxide (UO3). A formal joint decision has not yet been made as to whether the refinery will be built. In the event of a joint decision to construct the refinery, further adjustments to Cameco and Kazatomprom's ownership interests in JV Inkai will be made. (Cameco Dec. 11, 2017)

Inkay ISL uranium mine suspends operation due to floodings

Severe flooding has disrupted the work of a number of enterprises belonging to NAC Kazatomprom JSC, the company's press service reported. "The roads became impassable due to heavy melting snow near the village of Taikonur in the Suzak region of South Kazakhstan. This created problems for the movement of traffic carrying deliveries of reactants to the mining sites of the Kazakh-Canadian joint venture Inkay," JSC reported on March 19. According to JV Inkay LLP, the company expects the production schedule to take a month to recover after the transport starts moving again. (Cihan Mar. 19, 2014)

Production increase planned at Inkay in situ leach uranium mine

Inkai is seeking the Kazakh government's approval by the end of this year to boost uranium output by 33 percent (from 1,500 to 2,000 metric tonnes), Interfax reported. (Bloomberg Apr. 19, 2012)

On August 31, 2011, Cameco announced it has signed a memorandum of agreement with its partner, Kazatomprom, to increase annual uranium production at Joint Venture Inkai Limited Liability Partnership (JVI) from 3.9 million pounds [1,500 t U] to 5.2 million pounds [2,000 t U].

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Munkuduk (Mynkuduk) ISL mine, Chu-Sarysu district

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Operation of Eastern Mynkuduk in situ leach uranium mine permitted to continue until 2027

On 20 January 2023, Kazatomprom-SaUran LLP and the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan signed an addendum to the uranium mining contracts for the Eastern Mynkuduk deposit. The addendum provides for the extension of the validity period of subsoil use rights through to 2027. (Kazatomprom Jan. 23, 2023)

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Muyunkum (Moinkum) ISL mine, Chu-Sarysu district

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In situ leaching at South Tortkuduk parcel of Muyunkum uranium deposit to start end 2023: Uranium mining at the Kazakhstan's South Tortkuduk plot by the KATCO, the joint venture between French Orano Mining and Kazatomprom (Kazakhstan's national nuclear company), will begin at the end of 2023, a source at Orano told Trend. (Trend News Agency Nov. 12, 2023)

Development of South Tortkuduk parcel of Muyunkum uranium deposit for in situ leaching obtains approval: KATCO, the Kazakhstani - French joint venture between Orano Mining and NAC Kazatomprom JSC, and the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan signed an Addendum to the existing Subsoil Use Contract, which allows to carry out industrial development of the South Tortkuduk parcel of the Muyunkum uranium deposit. The operation of this new parcel is expected to ensure KATCO's production for about 15 years.
The South Tortkuduk uranium parcel, with estimated uranium reserves of 46,000 metric tons, was discovered and delineated by KATCO geologists. It is located between the two sites - Tortkuduk and Muyunkum - which KATCO has been operating for more than 20 years. (Orano Aug. 18, 2022)

Orano obtains exemption to raze protected forest for development of Muyunkum in situ leach uranium mine In Kazakhstan, the world's leading uranium producer, Orano (formerly Areva) is going to raze a protected forest to exploit a deposit. The French company's exemption was obtained during Bruno Le Maire's visit at the end of July to this Central Asian country which has become strategic for the French nuclear industry. [...]
To exploit this deposit, the French nuclear giant must cut down a 366-hectare forest of saxaul, a threatened endemic plant which is subject to a logging ban in Kazakhstan. The visit of the French minister made it possible to obtain, in return for compensation, the authorization to "clean up" the forest. [...]
In fact, the French multinational had already obtained the right to exploit this deposit by a decree dated October 2018, but this specified the need to conserve the saxaul forest, preventing the exploitation of the deposit.
As Orano clarified in Novastan, although the in situ leach extraction method used at this site does not require the creation of an open pit, "there is a need to undertake leveling work which involves cutting the saxauls". (Reporterre Sep. 3, 2019)

Orano/Kazatomprom joint venture obtains approval for extension of Muyunkum in situ leach uranium mine: On the occasion of a visit by Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire to Kazakhstan on July 30, before his summer break, a decree was published. It grants a new land license to the local joint venture of Orano, Katco, 51% owned by the French company and 49% by Kazatomprom. The permit, called Kanjugan, covering part of Muyunkum's mining license, will allow the nuclear group to secure a "significant share" of its uranium production for the next few years, said a spokesman for the company. (Le Figaro Aug. 18, 2019)

Penalty imposed on Muyunkum ISL mine: The Kazakhstan environmental department has imposed a penalty of 40 million Tenge (US$ 338,000) on KATCO for violations of environmental law. (Kazakhstan Today Aug. 4, 2008)
As KATCO refused to pay, the environmental department now turns to the administrative court for a forced penalty. (Kazakhstan Today Oct. 31, 2008)

Areva/Kazatomprom joint venture to increase production to 4,000 tonnes of uranium per year: Areva said a strengthened joint venture in Kazakhstan will step up uranium output with the intention of producing 4,000 tonnes per year of the radioactive metal, up until 2039. Katco, 51 percent owned by Areva and 49 percent by Kazatomprom, will mine the uranium and Areva will sell it, the French state-controlled nuclear engineering group said. An Areva spokesman said the new agreement is a major strengthening of an existing partnership, set up in 1996, and which produces about 1,000 tonnes of uranium per year. (AFX Jun. 11, 2008)

Areva invests in production increase at Muyunkum ISL mine: In 2007, Areva plans to invest US$ 30 million into the Katco joint venture for the further development of the Muyunkum uranium in-situ leach mine. From 2004 to 2006, Areva invested a total of US$ 200 million. The planned production is 900 tons of uranium in 2007, 1500 tons in 2008, and 2000 tons in 2009. The uranium is produced by the method of acidic underground leaching at a depth of 500 meters. (Kazakhstan Today Dec. 8, 2006)

Licence violations at Muyunkum (Moinkum) ISL mine

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Kandjugan mine (ISL), Chu-Sarysu district

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Operation of Kandjugan in situ leach uranium mine permitted to continue until 2047

On 20 January 2023, Kazatomprom-SaUran LLP and the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan signed an addendum to the uranium mining contracts for the Kanzhugan deposit. The addendum provides for the extension of the validity period of subsoil use rights through to 2047. (Kazatomprom Jan. 23, 2023)

New uranium ISL refinery completed

Kazatomprom commissioned a new refinery facility for the in-situ leach production of uranium at the Central Mining Group in southern Kazakhstan ahead of schedule. The in-situ leach plant has an initial annual capacity of 1700 tU, with a final capacity of 2000 tU. The new facility is to process Central Mining Groupís own uranium production and additional quantities from nearby mines including KATCO joint venture. (Kazatomprom Nov. 7, 2003)
The plant, located in the village of Taukent in Suzak District in Southern Kazakhstan, was inaugurated on Feb. 25, 2004. The plant will process half of the current Kazakh uranium production, with the other half coming from the Ulba Metallurgical plant. (Kazakhstan Today Feb. 26, 2004)


South Inkay mine (ISL), Chu-Sarysu district

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Russia and Kazakhstan sign road map for development of uranium deposits in Kazakhstan

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Court invalidates Uranium One Corp.'s subsoil use rights in three uranium in situ leach mines

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