Japanese Jogmec obtains license for uranium exploration in Uzbekistan

Business Materials 7 August 2013 16:43 (UTC +04:00)

Uzbekistan, Tashkent, Aug. 7 / Trend D.Azizov /

The Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (Jogmec) has received a license for uranium exploration at two prospective areas in the Navoi region of Uzbekistan, a source in the Uzbek government circles told Trend.

According to the source, the license is issued for a period of five years.

As reported, Jogmec and Navoi Mining and Metallurgical Combine (NMMC) signed an agreement in July to conduct exploration work in the Juzkuduk and Tamdiykuduk-Tulyantash prospective areas in the Navoi region upon the terms of business risk with the minimum amount of funding for the first year at $3 million.

According to the terms of the agreement, if the plan for the first year is not fulfilled, the investor should pay the cost of the unfulfilled operations to Uzbekistan.

If deposits are revealed in the contracted area, the Japanese company will have the exclusive right to conduct direct negotiations and conclude a production sharing agreement with Uzbekistan.

The agreement with Jogmec to conduct exploration for uranium was approved by a special decree of the President of Uzbekistan. The document provides the Japanese investor with significant benefits. JOGMEC is exempted from all taxes and mandatory payments to the Uzbek Social Funds, as well as from customs duties on imported equipment for five years.

According to the State Committee of Uzbekistan on Geology and deposits of uranium, which can be identified by Dzhyuzkudukskoy and Tamdiykuduk-Tulyantashskoy prospective areas relate to the type of sandstone.

According to the Uzbek State Committee on Geology and Mineral Resources, uranium fields in Juzkuduk and Tamdiykuduk-Tulyantash are of the sandstone variety.

Jogmec will not yet establish the operating company in Uzbekistan to implement the project, and instead plans to work with the State Committee on Geology experts.

This is the first project in Uzbekistan which grants the foreign investor with the right to explore and develop sandstone uranium deposits.

There are two types of deposits of sandstone and black shale type in the mineral resource base of the country. Sandstone deposits are developed by NMMC.

Uzbekistan ranks the seventh in the world in terms of uranium reserves, exporting all the produced uranium.