Kazatomprom confirms 128 positive COVID-19 cases at two uranium mines
(Kitco News) - The world's largest uranium producer Kazatomprom (LSE:KAP) and its France-based joint venture partner Orano today released an update related to the COVID-19 outbreak at joint venture KATCO, operating in the Turkestan region of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
The company said that as of 22 January 2021, all employees and contractors at KATCO’s Moinkum and Tortkuduk operations were tested for COVID-19; the final reports have now been received, showing 128 positive cases out of the 666 PCR tests performed.
Personnel who tested positive were isolated and are receiving treatment if required, and contact tracing was completed to quarantine exposed individuals. In accordance with the orders of the Chief State Sanitary Doctor of the Suzak District of the Turkestan Region, both sites were placed under a quarantine, which will remain in effect until retesting confirms that it is safe to lift the restrictions.
Kazatomprom added that due to the high case count and the introduction of the quarantine, several non-core site activities have been suspended. However, KATCO is able to safely continue key operations and the company expects that the current situation will not have a significant impact on its planned 2021 annual production volumes.
Kazatomprom is the world's largest producer of uranium, with the company’s attributable production representing approximately 24% of global primary uranium production in 2019. The group benefits from the largest reserve base in the industry and operates, through its subsidiaries, JVs and Associates, 26 deposits grouped into 14 mining assets. All of the company’s mining operations are located in Kazakhstan and mined using low-cost ISR technology.