Uranium One Provides Update on Kazakhstan Operationsadmin
Uranium One’s assets in Kazakhstan consist of a 70% interest in the Betpak Dala LLP joint venture, which owns and operates the Akdala uranium mine and the South Inkai uranium project, and a 30% interest in the Kyzylkum LLP joint venture, which owns and operates the Kharasan uranium project.
Uranium One is pleased to report that it received in November a dividend of US$40 million (net of Kazakh withholding taxes) from its Betpak Dala joint venture. The dividend, which was declared earlier this year, is the first distribution from the Betpak Dala joint venture to its shareholders (Uranium One and JSC KazAtomProm NAC). Uranium One has invested the proceeds of the dividend in US dollar denominated short term deposit notes issued and guaranteed by a Canadian chartered bank.
In late November, the Kazakhstan State Committee on Reserves issued a formal protocol approving a level of reserves sufficient to permit South Inkai to produce at industrial production levels.
In light of the foregoing, Betpak Dala expects that the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources will this month formally approve an amendment to the South Inkai subsoil use agreement permitting industrial production at South Inkai. This will allow Betpak Dala to begin ramping up production to a level of 5.2 million lbs U(3)O(8) per year at South Inkai.
Uranium One also reports that Citibank has agreed to increase its existing loan facility for the Kyzylkum joint venture from US$30 million to US$90 million. The increase is subject to the satisfaction of usual and customary closing conditions and will be used to fund the development of the Kharasan uranium project. On closing, the increased Citibank facility will bring the total loan facilities available to Kyzylkum to US$160 million of which US$100 million has been drawn.
Uranium One is one of the world’s largest publicly traded uranium producers, with a globally diversified portfolio of assets located in Kazakhstan, the United States, South Africa and Australia.