Kazakhstan reduces uranium production to curb falling prices
Polish Environment Minister Jan Szyszko and Kazakh Energy Minister Kanat Bozumbaev (right) shake hands after signing an agreement on Sept. 6, 2017, to promote green technologies. EPA-EFE/KULPASH KONYROVA
Astana, Feb 8 (efe-epa).- The world's largest producer of uranium, Kazakhstan, reduced production of the mineral in 2018 due to an oversupply in international markets that sparked a fall in prices, government officials acknowledged Friday.
"We saw an oversupply in the market and a fall in natural uranium prices," Kazakh Energy Minister Kanat Bozumbaev told a press conference while giving an account of the decision.
According to official statistics, in 2018 the production of uranium in Kazakhstan was 21,699 tons, compared to 23,390 tons the previous year when the price dipped below $20 per pound.
The current spot price of uranium is just under $30.
Bozumbaev said that the policy aimed at reducing production volumes had a positive impact on "the conjuncture of the prices of natural uranium in the global market."
This year the Kazakh state company Kazatomprom, which has exclusive rights to the national uranium market, plans to extract 22,742 tons.
Despite reduced extraction, Kazakhstan still tops the list of the world's largest producers of uranium, while the country's estimated two million tons of reserves is the largest on the planet after Australia.