Mining News

Kazatomprom had to quarantine two mines due to virus emergency

Due to a COVID-19 emergency, the world’s largest uranium producer Kazatomprom had to put two mines in quarantine. The company announced that several positive cases of COVID-19 have been identified at the company’s Kazakh-French joint venture KATCO, operating in the Turkestan region of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Kazatoprom said that despite the safety measures and protocols that are in place, several KATCO employees who had tested negative when arriving at the site at the end of December, began to show symptoms of COVID-19 while working at the facility and staying in the Moinkum camp. The operation’s senior management promptly moved to conduct PCR testing of all KATCO employees and contractors, which resulted in the identification of additional positive cases.

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Based on recommendations of local medical authorities, and in light of positive cases among site personnel that had previously tested negative, testing of all employees and contractors at Tortkuduk camp was carried. Final test results from both camps are still pending. Affected personnel have been isolated. According to the protocol of Chief state sanitary doctor of Suzak area, Turkestan region, both facilities have been placed under quarantine to await final results prior to a shift change. KATCO does not expect the site quarantine to have an impact on drilling or planned 2021 production.

Kazatomprom is the world’s largest producer of uranium, with the company’s attributable production representing approximately 24% of global primary uranium production in 2019. The group benefits from the largest reserve base in the industry and operates, through its subsidiaries, JVs and Associates, 26 deposits grouped into 14 mining assets. All of the company’s mining operations are located in Kazakhstan and mined using ISR technology.




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