Franco-Uzbek uranium mining JV launched

05 December 2019

Orano has formally established a joint venture company with Uzbekistan's State Committee on Geological and Mineral Resources (GosComGeology). The new company, Nurlikum Mining, will conduct mineral exploration and mining activities in the Central Asian country.

Nurlikum Mining was formally established at a meeting of the GosComGeology and Orano (Image: GosComGeology)

Formed at a general meeting in Tashkent on 2 December, Nurlikum Mining is part of a strategic partnership agreed between Orano and the Uzbek state in September. The French company and GosComGeology own 51% and 49% of the Tashkent-based company, respectively. Its activities will in particular focus on the Djengeldi area of Uzbekistan, at the heart of the uranium-rich province of Kyzylkum.

"This concretises the willingness of the founders to build a strong and trustful partnership to work together on uranium mining projects in Uzbekistan. Once the exploration permits are granted, the first works in the field are planned to commence in the first half of 2020," the companies said.

According to World Nuclear Association Uzbekistan produced 2404 tU in 2018. All of Uzbekistan's uranium production is by in-situ leach methods. Navoi Mining & Metallurgical Combinat, which is part of state holding company Kyzylkumredmetzoloto, is the country's sole operator for uranium mining and production.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News