Kazakhstan’s national atomic company Kazatomprom and French company Areva signed April 10 in Astana a major agreement to strengthen cooperation in uranium mining in Kazakhstan.
The agreement creates new opportunities to develop and enhance KATCO operations. KATCO is their joint venture, 51 percent of which belongs to Areva and 49 percent belongs to Kazatomprom.
“It is symbolic that we sign the strategic agreement with our reliable partners in the year of celebrating the 20th anniversary of Kazatomprom. A positive example of mutually beneficial cooperation is the successful implementation of joint projects in the nuclear fuel cycle. In addition, the provisions of the agreement correspond to the tasks set by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, to preserve leadership in the uranium mining market and to create a nuclear company competitive in the world,” said Chairman of Kazatomprom Askar Zhumagaliyev.
“This agreement strengthens our twenty-year partnership with Kazatomprom for the mutually economic benefit of the two partners and for longstanding nuclear cooperation between Kazakhstan and France. It gives KATCO a new long-term perspective with the development of the South Tortkuduk project, which will extend its production for the next two decades,” said CEO of Areva Philippe Knoche.
Kazakh Minister of Energy Kanat Bozumbayev and Chairman of Areva Philippe Varin took part in the official signing ceremony. Experts believe the agreement will bring additional value for both shareholders of the company
KATCO was established in 1996 to produce uranium using the in-situ recovery method at the Muyunkum deposit in the South Kazakhstan region. The company uses the international experience and knowledge of Areva and Kazatomprom, which are considered to be two leading uranium mining companies in the world.
Areva aims to use nuclear materials to support the development of society, first and foremost in the field of energy. The company offers products, technologies and services with high added value throughout the entire nuclear fuel cycle.
Kazatomprom is the national operator for export of uranium and its compounds, rare metals, nuclear fuel for nuclear power plants, special purpose equipment and technologies as well. The company works on uranium production, geological exploration, production of nuclear fuel cycle products and construction materials.