French company Orano and the State Committee for Geology and Mineral resources (GoscomGeology) of Uzbekistan have signed a partnership agreement to develop mining exploration and operations activities in the country, follows from the press release of the company.
The two partners have decided to create a joint venture which will be established in few months, with 51% held by Orano and 49% held by GoscomGeology.
This agreement formalizes the desire of both parties to work together on Uranium mining projects in Uzbekistan, in particular in the Navoiy region in a desert area at the heart of the uranium-rich province of Kyzylkum.
The parties plan to conduct borehole drilling works in the area to improve the classification of resources already identified by GoscomGeology and discover new Uranium resources. The first works in the field are planned to commence in the first half of 2020.
Nicolas Maes, Senior Executive Vice President of Orano’s Mining Business Unit declared: “We are happy with and proud of this agreement which is part of the geographical diversification of the group’s mining activities and consolidates its presence in Central Asia. It helps to strengthen relations within the framework of cooperation between France and Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan has extensive experience in the mining of uranium deposits by ISR1, and combined with Orano’s experience, it gives this project the solid foundations expected to move into new territories and develop innovative solutions capable of improving our productivity and thus meet our customers’ expectations”.
Bobir Islamov, Chairman of the State Committee of Uzbekistan on Geology and Mineral Resources said: “Uzbekistan is rich in mineral resources and has a developed mining industry. The country mines major deposits such as the Muruntau gold deposit, the Kalmakyr porphyry copper deposit, and the Uchkuduk uranium mines in the province of Kyzylkum. The partnership agreement we are signing with Orano is about consolidating our efforts and carrying out mutually beneficial projects in order to diversify our uranium industry and create new production capacities by combining the expertise and experience of both parties. We believe cooperating with a reliable partner such as Orano, which has vast expertise and experience as well as a stable place in the global uranium market, will contribute to the success of the projects carried out by the JV we are creating. The agreement signed today is a symbolic event and will, without doubt, contribute to the development of a good relationship and friendship between France and Uzbekistan”.