Kazatomprom monitors COVID situation as 2021 outlook unchanged

03 August 2021

Kazatomprom's 2021 production guidance remains unchanged but with Delta-variant COVID-19 cases rising and some areas of Kazakhstan going back into severe government-mandated restrictions, the uranium company yesterday said it continues to rigorously monitor the COVID-19 situation to ensure its current protocols remain effective.

(Image: Kazatomprom)

Kazatomprom's vaccination level exceeds that of the country, the company said in its second quarter operations and trading update. Across the entire company, some 70% of its employees had received a first vaccine dose as of 30 July, with over half being fully vaccinated with two doses (28% of the Kazakh population had received their first vaccination at that date). "When a case of COVID-19 is detected, the company and its subsidiaries implement preventive measures to contain the spread, with the health of the individual being constantly monitored and assistance provided as necessary," it said.

"Although the rollout of world-wide vaccination programmes and post-COVID economic recovery plans remained a focus across all industries during the second quarter, the period was punctuated by devastating global climate-related events, highlighting the urgent need for a paradigm shift: the world must accelerate the deployment of safe, baseload, carbon-free sources of energy, including broader acceptance of nuclear power as a key part of a greener international strategy," the company said.

The company - the world's largest producer of uranium in 2020 with a 23% attributable share of global primary uranium production - produced 10,451 tU (on a 100% basis) in the first six months of 2021, similar year-on-year to 2020. A shift in the commissioning schedule for new well fields, which resulted from the impact of the COVID-related four-month suspension of certain operational activities in 2020, meant production volumes in the first half of 2021 fell short of internal expectations, it said. All 2021 guidance remains unchanged, at 22,500-22,800 tU on a 100% basis (12,550-12,800 tU on an attributable basis).

The previously announced sale of a 49% interest in Kazatomprom's wholly owned subsidiary, Ortalyk LLP, to a subsidiary of China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGNPC) was completed at the end of July, the company confirmed. CGNPC subsidiary CGN Mining UK Limited is now a full participant in Ortalyk LLP with a 49% interest. Kazatomprom retains a controlling 51% interest, with each partner purchasing a proportionate share of uranium production from the operation according to its interest.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News