Astana, Kazakhstan, Jan.17
By Daniyar Mukhtarov - Trend:
Currently, all the uranium produced in Kazakhstan is exported primarily to China and Europe, Director General of the KAZENERGY Association, Asset Magauov said at an expanded meeting of the association's Council on Jan.16.
However, a significant uncertainty is observed on world uranium markets, according to Magauov. There is a price drop which is already below the cost of uranium production in a number of fields in the world.
"Despite the continuing drop in uranium prices and the closure of a part of the fields throughout the world due to their unprofitability, the low production cost in Kazakhstan doesn't threaten the work and production volumes in the country's fields," Magauov said.
The impact of negative tendencies to the uranium market as a whole will be limited for a short or long-term period, according to the director general.
"In the long-term perspective, the demand for uranium will increase as the implementation of plans of most countries to move to a low carbon energy sector will be possible only if a significant share of nuclear power plants in the generation mix is provided. Despite the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the construction of 68 reactors with a total capacity of 71 GW continues. The contract between Russia and the U.S. on the supply of uranium obtained from the utilisation of Russian nuclear weapons expired in late 2013," the director general said.
Kazakhstan has the largest uranium reserves (0.85 million tons) and ranks second in the world on this indicator. The country's main fields can be developed by the most economical and environmentally friendly way of underground leaching.
Kazakhstan ranks first in the world for the volume of uranium production. In particular as of 2012, uranium production in Kazakhstan amounted to 21,240 tons, or about 37 percent of world production.
Translated by L.Z.
Edited by S.M.