The world’s largest uranium producer, Kazatomprom, on Monday issued a guidance for 2021 that is in line with its market-centric strategy to flex down production volumes by 20% between 2018 and 2022.
The company expects output to be 22 500 t to 22 800 t in 2021, on a 100% basis, compared with the 28 000 t that it would have produced in 2021 according to subsoil use agreements.
Production of 19 477 t in 2020 was significantly lower than previously planned, owing to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the company’s decreased wellfield development activity and lower staff levels from April to July.
Kazatomprom’s sales volume guidance for 2021 is also aligned with its market-centric strategy, with consolidated sales volumes of 15 000 t to 16 000 t forecast.
Meanwhile, the uranium producer said that it continued to monitor the outbreak of Covid-19 at several of its operations, including two sites at the Katco joint venture (JV), the Semizbai JV and the Karatau mine.
Katco’s operations in the Turkestan region of Kazakhstan previously had 128 positive cases out of 666 tests that were done. On February 1, all 158 employees and contractor’s at Katco’s Moinkum operation had been rested and there were no longer any positive cases.
At Katco’s Tortkuduk operation, partial results indicate 30 employees out of 470 retested remained positive for Covid-19. The quarantine at Tortkuduk remained in effect, but Kazatomprom said that it would not have an impact on its 2021 production volumes.
At the Semizbai JV operation, 13 positive cases were identified while at Karatau, 25 positive cases were identified.