Uranium & Fuel

Kazatomprom / Uranium Production Expected To Fall By 4,000 Tonnes

By David Dalton
7 April 2020

Exact impact of Covid-19 pandemic ‘difficult to assess’
Uranium Production Expected To Fall By 4,000 Tonnes
State uranium company Kazatomprom expects that the volume of uranium production in Kazakhstan in 2020 will decrease by no more than 4,000 tonnes, although the exact effect of the coronavirus pandemic remains difficult to assess.

The company’s original estimate production estimate for 2020 was production of 22,750 to 22,800 tonnes of uranium on a 100% basis.

The company said the fall in production is not expected to affect its obligations for 2020 in terms of sales volumes. It said it has told all its customers that contractual obligations will be fulfilled in full.

However, Kazatomprom chief executive officer Galymzhan Pirmatov, said measures imposed by the government of Kazakhstan, including restrictions on the movement of people and strict hygiene directives, are now covering all regions where Kazatomprom operates and “have been enforced at all of our sites and offices”.

He said that to abide by local lockdown requirements, all of the company's subsidiaries are reducing the number of staff onsite to minimum possible levels. “All non-essential staff will return home with full pay, while those remaining onsite will operate within strict social distancing and hygiene practices,” he said.

“We are now working with our joint venture partners on assessing the full impact and detailed implementation of this decision across all of Kazakhstan's uranium mines.”

Kazatomprom is the largest uranium producer in the world and has the largest uranium reserve base in the industry. It is developing 24 deposits in Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan does not have any commercial nuclear plants. However, the World Association of Nuclear Operators told NucNet last year it was starting to talk to Kazakhstan about plans for commercial nuclear plants.

Several options have been put forward for a site for the construction of Kazakhstan’s first nuclear plant, but no decision has been made, reports said.

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