National Atomic Company Kazatomprom and Canadian uranium producer Cameco have completed restructuring of their Kazakhstan-based joint venture (JV) Inkai.

The JV owns and operates the Inkai operation, which is an in-situ recovery uranium mine in south Kazakhstan.

Restructuring was outlined in the implementation agreement reached between Kazatomprom, Cameco and Inkai in May last year.

As a result of the restructuring process, Kazatomprom’s share in Inkai will go up from 40% to 60%, and it will also gain operational control from January next year.

Under the terms of the implementation agreement, Inkai extended its subsoil use contract, with right to produce from blocks 1, 2 and 3 until 2045.

Kazatomprom CEO Galymzhan Pirmatov said: “I am confident that the agreement between our companies will give new impetus to Kazakh-Canadian cooperation in the nuclear sphere.

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“Increasing our participation share in Inkai will allow us to further develop this key asset together.”

“Increasing our participation share in Inkai will allow us to further develop this key asset together.”

Under the resource use contract amendment, Inkai has the right to increase production from the current licensed production of 5.2 million pounds to 10.4 million pounds of U3O8 per annum.

Cameco president and CEO Tim Gitzel said: “Implementation of this agreement will secure Cameco’s access to a tier-one production source through 2045 and strengthens our partnership with Kazatomprom.

“Production decisions will depend on market conditions and the terms of our resource use contract.”

Inkai has total proven and probable mineral reserves of 269.6 million pounds of U3O8.

Separately, the companies have also completed a feasibility study to evaluate the design, construction, and operation of a uranium refinery in Kazakhstan.