ASTANA (TCA) — Canadian corporation Cameco and Kazakhstan’s national atomic company Kazatomprom have signed an agreement on further development of joint projects for the next 30 years, extension of their contract for subsoil use, and increasing the share of Kazatomprom in their Inkai joint venture from 40 percent up to 60 percent, Kazatomprom said on May 27.
“Kazatomprom and Cameco have, for many years now, been engaged in a highly cooperative and mutually beneficial relationship where commitments have always been upheld. Therefore, we intend to further expand our partnership, balancing the economic interests,” said the Chairman of the Board of Kazatomprom Askar Zhumagaliev.
“This agreement strengthens our partnership with another global leader in uranium mining and moves both Cameco and Kazatomprom closer to realizing the full potential of their investment in JV Inkai,” said Cameco President and CEO Tim Gitzel. “For Cameco, the agreement advances our strategy of building on our low-cost production assets that helps to mitigate the risk of today’s uncertain uranium market and positions us to maximize returns when the market recovers.”
The agreement includes provisions that would make Cameco’s proprietary uranium refining technology available to Kazatomprom on a royalty-free basis, and grants Kazatomprom a five-year option to license Cameco’s proprietary uranium conversion technology for purposes of constructing and operating a UF6 conversion facility in Kazakhstan as well as the option to obtain UF6 conversion services for Kazatomprom at Cameco’s Port Hope facility for a period of 10 years and receive other commercial support.
Cameco and Kazatomprom will complete a feasibility study for the purpose of evaluating the design, construction and operation of a uranium refinery in Kazakhstan. The parties have agreed that the decision to build a refinery will be made on the results of the feasibility study.