Kazakhstan to become uranium player

23 November 2005

The state-owned Kazakh uranium producer, Kazatomprom, has revealed plans to become one of the world's leading uranium producers through a series of international joint ventures.

The company is expected to form venture agreements with Japanese groups Sumitomo and Kansai Electric Power to extract and process uranium in Kazakhstan.

With uranium ore reserves were estimated at 850,000 tonnes, Kazakhstan wants to speed up its uranium resource development and the agreements will give it access to both the Japanese market and its technology. Kazatomprom is also understood to be in negotiations with the China National Nuclear Corp and the South Korean Hydro and Nuclear Power Company. Japan's Itochu plans to buy about 3000t of uranium from Kazatomprom under a 10-year agreement signed in late September 2005.

By 2010 Kazatomprom aims to become the key player on the uranium market bringing its output to 15,000t annually.

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