COGEMA invests in Kazakh uranium mine

30th April 2004, Comments 0 comments

ALMATY, April 29 (AFP) - France's COGEMA will invest USD 90 million (EUR 75 million) in a Kazakh uranium mine under a deal it signed with the Kazakh state's atomic energy company Kazatomprom on Thursday, the Kazakh company said.

ALMATY, April 29 (AFP) - France's COGEMA will invest USD 90 million (EUR 75 million) in a Kazakh uranium mine under a deal it signed with the Kazakh state's atomic energy company Kazatomprom on Thursday, the Kazakh company said.

The two sides working at southern Kazakhstan's Moinkum uranium deposit expect "first product output at the end of 2005, to be followed by a progressive increase of production capacity to 1,500 tonnes per year," Kazatomprom said in a written statement.

The investment is the first by a Western firm in the uranium sector of Kazakhstan, which is home to the world's second largest uranium reserves after Australia.

The French and Kazakh firms are working in a joint venture named KATKO and estimate Moinkum's reserves at 43,700 tonnes of uranium, the statement said.

The deal follows a three-year pilot project and lengthy negotiations in which COGEMA increased its stake in KATKO from 45 percent to 51 percent.

The mine is already producing 100 tonnes of uranium annually, COGEMA said earlier.

This former Soviet republic's plentiful mineral resources, including Caspian Sea oil and natural gas reserves, are seen as a key to its hopes of economic development.

© AFP

                                         Subject: French news

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