President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev on Thursday, on the sidelines of the Uzbek-French business forum held in Samarkand, held a meeting with the chairman of the French company Orano, Claude Imoven, the press service of the Uzbek leader reports.
“At the meeting, initiatives to expand cooperation in the field of geological exploration and uranium mining were supported,” the statement said.
The meeting took place as part of the official visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to Uzbekistan.
Since December 2019, a joint venture for the exploration and production of uranium in the Navoi region, Nurlikum Mining, created by Orano (51%) and the State Committee for Geology (49%) has been operating in Uzbekistan. The resource base of the enterprise includes three promising areas of “sandstone” type uranium – Northern and Southern Dzhengeldy and Yangikuduk.
In November 2022, as part of Mirziyoyev’s visit to Paris, the State Committee for Geology of Uzbekistan, the state-owned enterprise Navoiyuran and Orano Mining signed a trilateral agreement to expand cooperation in the mining and processing of uranium. The new agreement laid the foundation for the development of new uranium mines in Uzbekistan.
The document also provided for the implementation of a number of joint initiatives, including the launch of new joint geological exploration projects, as well as support for Navoiyuran in the process of its modernization and transformation.
It was previously reported that Uzbekistan wants to double uranium production to 7.1 thousand tons by 2030.
According to the State Committee for Geology, the country’s uranium mineral resource base is made up of 27 deposits in the Kyzylkum region, the forecast reserves are estimated at approximately 55 thousand tons.
Uzbekistan ranks seventh in the world in terms of uranium reserves and fifth in terms of its production volumes.