Uranium Holding ARMZ Tallies Up Year 2007 Mining Results
In 2007 the Russian companies managed by JSC Atomredmetzoloto (Uranium Holding ARMZ) mined the total of 3,413 tons of uranium, a 7% increase as compared to 3,190 tons produced in 2006.
Together with the uranium mined by the Uranium Holding ARMZ in Kazakhstan, the aggregate production of the holding in 2007 amounted to 3,527 tons. This allowed Russia to move up to the fourth place from the fifth one worldwide by uranium production, and the Uranium Holding ARMZ to become the fifth among the leaders of the world uranium mining industry. The 2008 plan of the Uranium Holding ARMZ is to produce 3,880 tons of uranium.
As before, most of the production (3,037 tons of uranium) among the holding's enterprises was generated by the key Russian uranium mining enterprise – OJSC Priargunskoye Production Mining Chemical Association (PPMCA, Transbaikalia). In addition, CJSC Dalur (Kurgan Region) was actively expanding its mining operations: last year the company extracted 350 tons of uranium which is a 33.8% increase as compared to 2006. An enterprise under construction – OJSC Khiagda (Buryatia) – produced 26 tons of uranium as a result of the last year's pilot operations.
In 2008 Uranium Holding ARMZ plans to continue building up the uranium mining operations in Russia: the forecasted production will be 3,580 tons (a growth of 14%). The production will grow mainly due to development of new deposits – the production forecast for CJSC Dalur for the current year is 410 tons of uranium, and OJSC Khiagda is expected to produce 120 tons.
Of the two foreign companies of the Uranium Holding ARMZ (Russian-Kazakh JV Zarechnoye and Akbastau), in 2007 only JV Zarechnoye carried out mining operations – it produced 114 tons of uranium. The company's plans for the next year provide for an almost threefold increase of the last year's result: JV Zarechnoye intends to increase production up to 300 tons.
Vigorous production growth of the Uranium Holding ARMZ in 2008 will be driven by the ARMZ's investment program in the amount of RUR 9.5 bln. Most of these investments will be made in the enterprises being constructed and designed (OJSC Khiagda, CJSC Elkon GMK, CJSC Olovskaya MCC, CJSC UDK Gornoye, CJSC Lunnoye and JV Akbastu in Kazakhstan). With the exception of OJSC Khiagda, all these companies engaged in development of new uranium deposits were founded by the Uranium Holding ARMZ in 2007. In addition, the holding's investment program provides for seed investments in creation of promising ventures with a Canadian company Cameco: the 2008 plan is to create one JV in each of Canada and Russia to conduct geological exploration with a view to discovering high quality ores uranium deposits and their subsequent development.
The ultimate objective of the Uranium Holding ARMZ is to increase the total amount of production in Russia and Kazakhstan three times by 2015 thereby exceeding the level of 10,000 tons.
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