The world’s largest uranium miner says it is unaffected by Kazakh unrest

Troops are seen in the main square, where hundreds of people protested against the government, following the authorities’ decision to lift price caps on liquefied gas, in Almaty, Kazakhstan January 6, 2022. REUTERS / Mariya Gordeyeva

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ALMATY, January 6 (Reuters) – Kazatomprom (KZAP.KZ), the world’s largest uranium producer, said on Thursday that it was operating normally with no impact on production or exports despite unrest in Kazakhstan.

Uranium prices have risen following unrest in Kazakhstan, which was initially spurred by protests against fuel price increases. Spot prices hit $ 45.50 per pound on Wednesday, the highest since Nov. 30, according to a Platts assessment.

But the Central Asian country’s political unrest does not appear to have affected key industries so far.

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“Uranium extraction is going according to plan. There has been no stopping. The company is fulfilling its export contracts,” a spokesman for Kazatomprom said.

Kazatomprom’s attributable production represented approximately 23% of global uranium production by 2020, according to the company’s website.

Kazatomprom’s London-listed shares recovered some losses after the announcement and ended Thursday down 6.7%. They previously reached their lowest since the end of September, adding Wednesday’s drop of 8%.

Shares of other uranium producers fell Thursday after Wednesday gains. Shares of Canada’s Cameco Corp (CCO.TO) fell 3.7% on Thursday and a global X uranium exchange traded fund (ETF) fell 3.6% (URA.P).

Cameco said it could resume production of about 24 million pounds of uranium a year in North America if needed by the global market. Representatives of Canada-based Uranium One, a subsidiary of Russia’s state-owned nuclear company Rosatom GK, could not be reached for comment.

US-based Energy Fuels Inc (UUUU.A) said it could start producing uranium if the political unrest in Kazakhstan increased the prices of nuclear fuel.

Earlier, a spokesman for the Caspian Pipeline Consortium, the group that transports the country’s main crude oil export mix, said it was operating normally. Production at Chevron’s (CVX.N) Tengizchevroil venture has also continued. Read more.

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Reporting by Mariya Gordeyeva, Olzhas Auyezov; further reporting by Polina Devitt in Moscow, Anisha Sircar in Bengaluru and Ernest Scheyder in Houston; writing by Sujata Rao; editing by Alexander Smith, Kirsten Donovan, Andrew Heavens and Marguerita Choy

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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