Kazakhstan’s national uranium miner Kazatomprom on Thursday reported attributable production of 13 291 t of U3O8 and said its guidance for 2020 remained flat at between 12 800 t and 13 300 t, in line with its market-centric strategy.
On a 100% basis, 2019’s production was 22 808 t, which is 5% more than the previous year, and its guidance for 2020 is to produce between 22 750 t and 22 800 t.
The London-listed company, which is the world’s largest seller of natural uranium, has determined to keep planned production volumes 20% below its subsoil use agreements until 2021, as the uranium market continues to struggle. Without the reduction, production would have been about 28 500 t on a 100% basis this year.
"The uranium market continued to struggle in 2019, but despite the difficult conditions, Kazatomprom delivered strong results and met all aspects of our guidance," said CEO Galymzhan Pirmatov in a statement on Thursday.
Kazatomprom sold about 1 000 t more than it produced at 14 148 t, which was 7% less than in 2018, owing to a lower level of contracting activity in the market and a strategy to prioritise value over volume.
The group expects to sell between 15 500 t and 16 500 t, which includes KAP sales volumes of between 13 500 t and 14 500 t, consistent with sales volumes in 2019.
Consolidated group inventory of finished U3O8 products in 2019 amounted to 9 906 t in 2019, which was 26% higher than in 2018. At the company level, inventory of finished U3O8 products was 8 571 t, an increase of 17% compared with 2018.
Kazatomprom reported a 50% drop in 2019 net profit, owing to one-off items. Net profit was 213.7-billion tenge in 2019, while revenue rose 15% to 502.3-billion tenge on higher prices. Operating profit nearly doubled to 151.9-billion tenge.