Kazakhstan uranium output looks set to rise

3 June 2002

The Kazakh national nuclear company Kazatomprom plans to produce 2500t of uranium a year over the next few years, said company president Mukhtar Dzhakishev. This will optimise the company's profit margin, he said. Kazakhstan increased the production of uranium by 15% in 2001 and by 28% in 2000. Kazakhstan currently accounts for 5% of the world's uranium. By 2005, this figure will rise to 7%. Despite increased production and an unstable world market, the company's sales have remained steady since Kazakhstan won an anti-dumping case in the USA in 1999, and had also managed to convince the European Atomic Energy Community to lift quotas limiting purchases of uranium from countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States.

The USA has lifted the limits imposed on imports of Kazakh natural uranium following the end of 10 years of court proceedings between Kazakhstan and USEC. Kazakhstan has been incurring tens of millions of dollars of losses each year because of the restrictions imposed on Kazakh uranium exports to the USA. Following the break up of the USSR, the limits were automatically imposed on all the former Soviet uranium-extracting republics.

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