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2019 Results: ARMZ Uranium Holding Co. Hit 103% Uranium Production Target
Production and facilities
Last year, Khiagda, JSC became the growth point, reaching the design production level of 1,000 tons, which is almost 19% higher than the volume of 2018. The up-to-date production enterprise construction with everything necessary infrastructure, including a sulfuric acid production shop, in-house Dzhilinda substation, storage and repair facilities is completed in the Republic of Buryatia permafrost conditions. The created enterprise will allow the Vitim uranium ore region deposit development for over 100 years.
Khiagda, JSC became the first digital uranium production company in Russia. The enterprise has introduced an intelligent production management system for practically the entire production cycle, and the «smart site» commercial operation has begun. In cooperation with Rostelecom, JSC, over 200 kilometers of optical fiber were laid, production sites were provided with Internet, and the necessary IT landscape was formed. Due to this work, the settlements of the Bauntovsky-Evenki District can also enjoy the use of Internet. In 2019, ROSATOM State Atomic Energy Corporation joined the Vision Zero movement. ARMZ Uranium Holding Co. was one of the first in Russia to implement the Smart Helmets project. Khiagda, JSC introduced a personnel positioning system that allows to remotely monitor compliance with safety procedures, monitor the employee movement and condition, and thereby contribute to increased occupational safety. The digital technology replication to other in-situ leaching enterprises will be the next step ahead.
The new uranium Mine No. 6 construction in Trans-Baikal Territory was continued in 2019. Work on mine water treatment plant are being completed, the preparatory work on 19-RESh shaft tipple complex has begun. The construction is on schedule, the allocated funds have been fully utilized. The deposit drainage will begin in 2020, followed by the transition to mining and capital works (shaft reinforcement). Exactly 40 years have passed since the beginning of the uranium development in the Trans-Urals, where Dalur, JSC is developing the Dalmatovsky deposit, last year it began the Khokhlovskoye uranium deposit commercial development and the Dobrovolnoye deposit reserve exploration.
The Holding ceases to be mono-product and continues increasing its financial stability. This year, the share of revenue from non-uranium projects amounted to 31%. Coal production at the Urtuysky opencast mine in Krasnokamensk amounted to 3.5 million tons, exceeding the planned volume by 10%. ARMZ covers the needs of the Krasnokamensk CHP, and also fulfils export contracts for high-quality coal. The Scandium project reached the commercial level: 230 kg of rare metal were produced and shipped this year. In the future, production volumes will be adjusted in accordance with the market requirements. A gold mining project has been launched in Yakutia; it is planned to receive the first batch of this precious metal in 2020.
External revenue in service companies has increased many-fold: by 182% in VNIPIpromtechnologii, JSC; by 291% in RUSBURMASH, JSC. This is primarily due to the entry into the foreign market of services and engineering services. ARMZ has signed contracts with companies from China, Australia, and Namibia. An agreement has been signed with the Pevek municipality in the Chukotka region, where the world’s first floating nuclear power plant has recently begun its operation. Elkon MMP, JSC took on the obligation to build housing and utilities infrastructure for the northernmost city of Russia within 2 years. The contract price is almost RUB 2 billion. Construction in harsh climatic conditions is a new direction for the Holding, but ARMZ demonstrated the ability to work «in the north» in Buryatia, where it built an enterprise and produces uranium in permafrost conditions.
In 2018-2019, the main design works on the port and the mining and processing plant at the Pavlovskoye lead-zinc deposit were completed. In 2020, it is planned to carry out additional project optimization to increase its attractiveness for external investors. Negotiations are underway with potential product buyers in order to sign off-take contracts, as well as with financial institutions and future construction contractors.
Last year, a new ARMZ Mining Machinery enterprise was established for the production of in-house mining machinery on the basis of Repair and Mechanical Plant of E.P. Slavsky PIMCU (under the newly registered ARGO trademark). The machinery operation is based on lithium-ion batteries, eliminating harmful emissions into the atmosphere. The pilot units assembled by PIMCU specialists have already proven their effectiveness in the uranium mine; they have no counterparts in the domestic engineering industry. Serial production of ARGO load-haul-dump trucks will begin at the RMP of PIMCU, PJSC in Q1 2020. The plans include operation at our own facilities, and ARMZ is ready to offer its import-substituting mining machinery to partners engaged in mining.