Kazakhstan raises Q1 uranium output by 5 pct
Reuters, April 23
ALMATY, (Reuters) – Kazakhstan produced 4,666 tonnes of uranium in the first quarter of the year, almost 5 percent more than in the same three months of 2011, state nuclear company Kazatomprom said on Monday.
Kazatomprom said its own output of the metal, which is used to produce nuclear fuel, totalled 2,656 tonnes in the same period, 4 percent more than in January-March 2011. The company operates a series of joint ventures in Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan, the world’s largest uranium producer, boosted output of the metal by about 9 percent to 19,450 tonnes in 2011. Kazatomprom’s own production totalled 11,079 tonnes in 2011 and accounted for 20 percent of global uranium output.
The company said in a statement that its consolidated revenues totalled 51 billion tenge ($345 million) in the first three months of 2012.
Kazatomprom, which employs more than 23,000 workers, mines uranium on its own and through a series of joint ventures with international companies such as Areva, Cameco Corp and Sumitomo Corp.
Kazakhstan holds more than 15 percent of global uranium reserves, second only to Australia, and in 2009 surpassed Canada as the world’s largest producer of the metal. However, it has no nuclear power stations of its own. (Reporting by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Mark Potter)