Kazatomprom (the National Company of Kazakhstan) is going to extend its low production activity period for one more month. In August the company will gradually increase personnel on the mining sites if the situation with COVID-19 starts to improve.
According to the company, the extension of safety precautions will barely affect an estimated production result in 2020 expected to be from 19,000 to 19,500 tons. All Kazatomprom’s decisions that come to production as well as contract obligations are backed up by the relevant stocks of product. Therefore, the company keeps following a very responsible approach to supply management, including the purchase of material on the spot market (if necessary) to meet its obligations on sales (from 13,500 to 14,500 tons of uranium.)
Once the situation will be considered safe, earlier suspended projects will be increased gradually starting from drilling at the geological-prospecting sites. Here, it’s much easier to follow safety protocols and maintain social distance. As expected since the first week of August, mining personnel will start to return and mining exploitation will begin again, the company said.
Kazatomprom will keep a close watch on the situation with COVID-19 on production sites and in the whole region as well as follow official directives regarding all measures aimed at stopping the pandemic from spreading.
According to GalymzhanPirmatov, Kazatomprom board chairman, the company announced in April its preventive measures to decrease the number of employees at the production sites to a minimal level for three consequent months.
“While the company has been following all official requirements and medical recommendations, we do believe that there are still a lot of risks of a pandemic that prevent personnel from coming back to production sites,” Pirmatov stated.
Earlier, Kazatomprom top-manager said that the COVID-19 pandemic forced many industries to reassess their approach to businesses. Concerning nuclear energy, the pandemic consequences showed the high importance of a reliable and clean source of energy to support utilities around the world. The surge in uranium prices while oil and other commodities slide down has only proven the unique role of the uranium market. The strong demand for uranium products as well as the decline in oversupply, which was there for many years, also pushes uranium prices to their high. In 2020 the price of this product has risen by 40%.