Kazatomprom, the Kazakh uranium producer, will increase production volumes in 2025, adding 6,000 tonnes of elemental uranium (tU) to global primary supply and returning to a 100% level relative to its subsoil use agreements for the first time since 2018. The board of Kazatomprom approved the strategy.

Kazatomprom’s 2025 production is now expected to be between 30,500tU and 31,500tU. The decision to increase output was motivated by improved uranium market conditions and successful medium and long-term contracting with new and existing customers.

Dastan Kosherbayev, chief commercial officer at Kazatomprom, said: “Consistent with our market- centric strategy, our intention to return to a 100% level of subsoil use contracts production volumes in 2025 is primarily driven by our strong contract book and already-growing sales portfolio against a conservative 2023–24 production scenario.”

He also said the company is “excited to witness the start of a long-awaited historical shift in the uranium market”.

The World Nuclear Association said demand for uranium will increase by 27% in the 2021–30 period and then increase by a further 38% from 2031–40. The main growth in uranium demand is from China and Russia.

In order to increase production volumes in 2025, Kazatomprom said it will begin working with joint venture partners and mining subsidiaries to incorporate necessary changes into its 2024 budgets. It will also “continue to monitor ongoing market developments and maintain flexibility to react quickly to changing conditions”. The company has not yet laid out its production targets for after 2025 as geopolitical uncertainty, global supply chain issues and inflationary pressures “remain existent and the company may therefore potentially face challenges in increasing production significantly above stated levels”.

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In 2017, the company ‘flexed down’ production by 20% below its subsoil use agreements from the start of 2018 for three years. In August 2022, it changed strategy and planned to increase production to 10% below its subsoil use agreements.

Kazatomprom produces uranium from 26 deposits grouped into 14 mining assets.