Canadian-based mining and exploration company Uranium One has signed an agreement to acquire a 50% interest in the Karatau uranium mine in Kazakhstan from Russia’s state-owned JSC Atomredmetzoloto (ARMZ).
The acquisition will significantly enhance Uranium One’s production and reduce operating costs, the company said.
The purchase price will be paid for through the issue of 117 million common shares of Uranium One and a cash payment of $90m.
In addition, the agreement provides for a contingent payment of up to $60m between 2010 and 2012.
ARMZ will continue as the owner of the remaining 50% interest of the Karatau mine, which is located close to the Akdala and South Inkai mines operated by Uranium One.
In 2009, Uranium One expects Karatau to produce about 3.3 million pounds of U3O8.
Karatau is expected to reach steady production of 5.2 million pounds of U3O8 a year by 2011.