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China's CGNPC to pay $435 million for 49% stake in uranium operation in Kazakhstan

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(Kitco News) - Kazatomprom, the national atomic company of Kazakhstan, announced today the signing of the sale and purchase agreement for the sale of a 49% share in Ortalyk uranium mining operation to a subsidiary of China General Nuclear Power Corporation ("CGNPC"), subject to conditions and governmental approvals.

The company said that previously, the parties agreed to construct a fuel assembly plant at the Ulba Metallurgical Plant in Kazakhstan. CGNPC provided a guarantee that Ulba's production will be purchased by CGNPC, in exchange for Kazatomprom agreeing to sell to CGNPC or its affiliates, a 49% interest in the company's wholly owned subsidiary, Ortalyk LLP. 

On 22 April 2021, the sale and purchase agreement was signed and the parties agreed to the valuation determined by one of the four major international advisory and professional services firms, whereby a 49% share of the operation was assessed a value of approximately USD 435 million.

A wholly-owned subsidiary of Kazatomprom, Ortalyk owns a 100% interest in the Central Mynkuduk deposit and fulfilled exploration and trial production at the Zhalpak deposit, which contain JORC-compliant aggregate mineral resources of approximately 38,957 tonnes of uranium (at 31 December 2020).

The Mynkuduk deposit has a designed capacity and subsoil use agreement in place to produce 2,000 tons of uranium per year. The production capacity of the Zhalpak deposit will be determined through subsoil use contract negotiations with the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Kazatomprom is the world's largest producer of uranium, with the company's attributable production representing approximately 23% of global primary uranium production in 2020.

As of the end of 2019, CGNPC was the largest nuclear plant operator in China, among the top five operators internationally, and the largest nuclear power plants builder in the world.

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