Kazakhstan’s Uranium Production Increased 9% in 2nd Quarter
Wednesday 18 July 2012
(Bloomberg) – Kazakhstan increased second-quarter output of the uranium by 9% from the previous three months to 5,040 metric tons, state-owned Kazatomprom said.
Kazatomprom’s share of production totalled 2,896 tons, also a gain of 9% from the first quarter, the Astana-based company said today in an e-mailed statement.
ULBA Metallurgical Plant, a uranium pellet-producing unit of Kazatomprom, reported a 23% slump in beryllium output in the period, while more than doubling tantalum volumes, the statement shows.
Kazakhstan, the biggest uranium producer, has 15% of the world’s uranium resources and an expanding mining sector, producing some 19,450 tonnes in 2011, and planning for further increase to 2018. In 2009 it became the world’s leading uranium producer, with almost 28% of world production, then 33% in 2010 and about 35% in 2011.
Kazatomprom is the national atomic company set up in 1997 and owned by the government. It controls all uranium exploration and mining as well as other nuclear-related activities, including imports and exports of nuclear materials. It announced in 2008 that it aims to supply 30% of the world uranium by 2015, and through joint ventures: 12% of uranium conversion market, 6% of enrichment, and 30% of the fuel fabrication market by then.