Uranium One Dances With Deal That Marries it to Russia

16 November 2009 (Last Updated November 16th, 2009 18:30)

Uranium One says Russia could own part of its business if it goes through with a deal to purchase half of Russia’s state-owned Karatau Uranium Mine in Kazakhstan. Speaking with The Canadian Press, the company, which also reportedly told Mining Weekly investment in new proj

Uranium One says Russia could own part of its business if it goes through with a deal to purchase half of Russia’s state-owned Karatau Uranium Mine in Kazakhstan.

Speaking with The Canadian Press, the company, which also reportedly told Mining Weekly investment in new projects would not take place this year unless they were considerably good options, said it had received approval from Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources to go ahead with the deal.

Currently Russia’s JSC Atomredmetzoloto owns the mine.

As part of the proposed deal it will take a 19.9% stake in Uranium One in return for its half share (valued at $90m cash) in Karatau.

If the deal goes ahead, it will have to close by 15 December.

Uranium One said it wants to increase production in countries such as Kazakhstan and Africa to meet rising demand.

New power projects, it is believed, could double demand by 2020.

Uranium One CEO Jean Nortier was quoted last week by Mining Weekly, however, saying uranium prices needed to firm before it would look to develop more mining projects.

Nortier said he believes demand from power industry nuclear new builds, especially in Asia, will make uranium more valuable in coming years but current prices are too low to recognise this.