Kazakhstan plans to produce 10% less uranium in 2017 than previously planned in response to ongoing oversupply in the uranium market, KazAtomProm chairman Askar Zhumagaliyev announced today.
In total, Kazakh uranium production for 2017 will be 2000 tU less than previously planned. The reduction is roughly equivalent to 3% of total global uranium production based on 2015 figures.
Kazakhstan’s uranium mining operations are either wholly owned by state-run company Kazatomprom or operated through joint ventures between KazAtomProm with international partners. The exact production levels for each mine and joint venture have been determined and approved by their respective management boards, based on the circumstances and economics of each operation, and vary from the 10% aggregate, KazAtomProm said.
“While the outlook for nuclear energy growth continues as strong as it has been for many years, the realities of the near-term uranium market remain in oversupply,” Zhumagaliyev said. “KazAtomProm and its joint venture partners have had to make responsible decisions in light of these market challenges.
These strategic Kazakh mineral assets are far more valuable to our shareholders and stakeholders being left in the ground for the time being, rather than adding to the current oversupply situation. Their greater value will instead be realised when produced into improved markets in the coming years.”
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