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Kazatomprom issues quarterly update

03 May 2024

The Kazakh national atomic company’s first quarter uranium production saw a slight year-on-year increase but its guidance metrics remain unchanged. Kazatomprom’s first quarter trading announcement also included an update on plans for a new sulphuric acid plant.

(Image: Kazatomprom)

Production for the quarter was 5077 tU (100% basis), up from 4744 tU for the same period in 2023, a year-on-year increase of 7%. The company reiterated that its production guidance for 2024 of 21,000-22,500 tU (100% basis) remains unchanged but noted that “sanctions pressure due to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and limited access to some key materials are not known” and “as a result, annual production volumes may differ from internal expectations”.

The company said it does not anticipate any effect on Kazatomprom from an act prohibiting the import of Russian enriched uranium products into the USA which was passed by the US Senate this week and is now to be signed into law, since its primary business is the production of natural uranium. “Whether shipped by Kazatomprom or its JV partners, Kazakh-origin uranium retains its origin until its arrival at a conversion facility,” the company noted.

It reiterated that the recent severe floods in western and northern regions of Kazakhstan had not affected its uranium mining, processing and transportation activities to date and all Kazatomprom enterprises continue to operate without any disruptions. It said it “continues to monitor the situation around the floods in Kazakhstan, and contributes to restoring vital infrastructure and supporting affected communities”.

In 2023, Kazatomprom set up a partnership enterprise, Taiqonyr Qyshqyl Zauyty LLP (TQZ) to implement a project to build a new sulphuric acid plant, but said it now expects the completion of the construction and the start of production at the TQZ plant to be postponed from 2026 to 2027 due to “restructuring procedures and delays in the timing of approval of project design documentation”. TQZ is partnering with Italian firm Ballestra which will be responsible for the project’s design, equipment procurement and technical support.

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