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(last updated 17 May 2023)
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.
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)
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]
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)
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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
In August 2005, permission was obtained for the construction of the basic processing plant required for commercial production. (Kazatomprom Sep. 1, 2005)
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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)
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)
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]
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)
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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