FACTBOX-Key uranium joint ventures in Kazakhstan
May 27. Reuters. ALMATY
by Olzhas Auyezov
Kazakhstan’s security service said on Wednesday some of the country’s uranium fields had been sold illegally to foreign firms by Kazakh state uranium company Kazatomprom, in a move certain to alarm investors.
Below is the list of key Kazakh uranium joint ventures in which foreign companies have stakes.
Kyzylkum operates Khorasan-1, Kazakhstan’s largest uranium mine with reserves of more than 80,000 tonnes. Canada’s Uranium One (UUU.TO) owns 30 percent in its operating company Kyzylkum.
A consortium of Japanese firms including Toshiba Corporation (6502.T), TEPCO (9501.T), Chubu Electric (9502.T), Tohoku Electric (9506.T), Kyushu Electric (9508.T) and Marubeni Corporation (8002.T) owns a 40 percent stake.
The rest belongs to Kazatomprom.
The venture operates Khorasan-2, a deposit estimated to yield 2,000 tonnes of uranium annually for 40 years.
The same Japanese consortium owns an undisclosed stake in the company.
The venture, in which Uranium One owns 70 percent, operates two deposits, Akdala and South Inkai. Uranium One estimates its share of proven and probable reserves in Akdala at 6,700 tonnes. Its share of inferred reserves in South Inkai is 16,720 tonnes.
The company operates the Western Mynkuduk deposit. Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation (8053.T) owns 20 percent in Appak while Kansai Electric Power (9503.T) has a 15 percent stake. Kazatomptom expects Appak to produce 1,000 tonnes of uranium annually for 22 years from 2010.
France’s Areva (CEPFi.PA) has a 51 percent stake in the venture which operates the Moinkum deposit. Kazatomprom has not provided any information on its reserves but said it planned to boost annual output to 4,000 tonnes a year.
Canada’s Cameco (CCO.TO) owns 60 percent in the venture that operates the Inkai Deposit (except for the part run by Betpak Dala). Total reserves are estimated at about 240,000 tonnes.
The venture operates the Semizbai deposit which is due to start producing 500 tonnes of uranium a year in 2010. China’s Beijing Sino-Kaz Uranium Resources Investment Company Limited owns 49 percent in Semizbai-U.