Aluminum   $ 2.1505 kg        |         Cobalt   $ 33.420 kg        |         Copper   $ 8.2940 kg        |         Gallium   $ 222.80 kg        |         Gold   $ 61736.51 kg        |         Indium   $ 284.50 kg        |         Iridium   $ 144678.36 kg        |         Iron Ore   $ 0.1083 kg        |         Lead   $ 2.1718 kg        |         Lithium   $ 29.821 kg        |         Molybdenum   $ 58.750 kg        |         Neodymium   $ 82.608 kg        |         Nickel   $ 20.616 kg        |         Palladium   $ 40303.53 kg        |         Platinum   $ 30972.89 kg        |         Rhodium   $ 131818.06 kg        |         Ruthenium   $ 14950.10 kg        |         Silver   $ 778.87 kg        |         Steel Rebar   $ 0.5063 kg        |         Tellurium   $ 73.354 kg        |         Tin   $ 25.497 kg        |         Uranium   $ 128.42 kg        |         Zinc   $ 2.3825 kg        |         
Image source:

Uzbekistan is considering collaboration with China Nuclear Uranium Co., as reported by Navoiyuran’s press service, to develop black shale uranium mines. Rustam Ergashev, head of the investment projects department at Navoiyuran, underscores the increasing significance of atomic energy, which currently fulfills 11% of global electricity demand.

“This figure reaches 70% in France, 50% in Hungary, and 20% in the USA,” notes Ergashev. Nations like China, India, and countries across the Middle East, Africa, and South America are expanding their nuclear power programs in response to this trend.

For Navoiyuran, a company focused solely on exports, this presents new opportunities for collaboration in the nuclear raw materials market. The visit of a delegation from China Nuclear Uranium Co. (CNUC), a subsidiary of the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), signals a significant step toward enhancing collaboration in this field.

“China Nuclear Uranium Co. is a prominent player in China’s nuclear energy sector, involved in uranium exploration, mining, and processing,” explains Ergashev. The company operates uranium mines domestically and engages in joint ventures in countries like Namibia and Kazakhstan.

During the visit led by Yang Runsheng, the company’s chief engineer, experts from China Nuclear Uranium Co. explored black shale uranium mining fields in Uzbekistan, visiting the “Ma’danli” and “Koscheka” fields to study mining operations and technological samples for uranium and rare element extraction from ore compositions.

The meeting between Chinese experts and Navoiyuran’s General Director, J. Fayzullaev, focused on developing technologies for black shale uranium mining and exploring prospects for future cooperation. Collaboration between Uzbekistan and China holds promise for advancing the nuclear energy sector in both countries.

In July 2023, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev endorsed initiatives to boost uranium mining and processing in Uzbekistan, aiming to double production by 2030. In November 2023, Navoiyuran entered a strategic cooperation memorandum with China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) in the uranium sector.

Since 2016, Uzbekistan has consistently held the position of the fifth-largest uranium producer worldwide, with uranium reserves exceeding 100,000 tons. The Navoi Mining and Metallurgical Combine (NMMC), Uzbekistan’s primary uranium mining company, predominantly exports uranium products, constituting 99.5% of its export portfolio.

French President Macron’s visit to Uzbekistan in November 2023 signals France’s strategic interest in Central Asia and Europe, aiming to diversify energy sources and reduce dependence on China for critical minerals.