Orano Mining, the State Committee for Geology and Mineral Resources of the Republic of Uzbekistan (GosComGeology) and the Uzbek State-owned Enterprise Navoiuranium (Navoiuranium) signed a tripartite strategic cooperation agreement, on the sidelines of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev visit to France on November 21st and 22nd, 2022.
Orano has been present in Uzbekistan since 2019, when the group initiated a partnership with GosComGeology, to develop uranium exploration and mining activities in the Djengeldi area. This partnership led in 2019 to the creation of a joint venture called Nurlikum Mining, which has today around 50 employees.
The signed agreement lays the foundations of an exclusive strategic alliance for the development of new uranium mines in Uzbekistan, beyond the Djengeldi project currently led by Nurlikum Mining. This is a significant broadening of the scope of the collaboration, reflecting the trust established between Orano and its partners in Uzbekistan.
The agreement also provides for the implementation of several joint initiatives relating, among other things, to the definition of a roadmap for the development of the Djengeldi project, the launch of new joint geological exploration projects, the support for Navoiuranium in its modernization and transformation process and the initiation of an exchange framework enabling Uzbek partners to benchmark from the French industrial model in the nuclear fuel value chain.
Nicolas Maes, Senior Executive Vice President of Orano's Mining activities, said: "The agreement signed by the partners today reinforces Orano's position as a leading industrial player in the uranium mining sector in Uzbekistan alongside our partner Navoiuranium and represents the continuity of the group’s strategy to gradually increase our presence in the country and contribute to strengthening of economic ties between France and Uzbekistan".
Bobir Islamov, Chairman of GosComGeology said: “With the Presidential resolution of July 14th, 2022, our country has engaged into an ambitious path for the modernization and ramp-up of our uranium mining industry. Our objective is to double accessible mineral reserves and the rate of annual production by the year 2030. Over the past three years, Orano has demonstrated that it is a credible and reliable partner. We believe that, thanks to this strategic cooperation agreement, Orano will contribute effectively to the development of the uranium industry in Uzbekistan in close collaboration with our State-owned enterprise Navoiuranium”.
Jakhongir Khasanov, General Director of State-owned enterprise Navoiuranium, said: “Navoiuranium is a uranium producer with many years of experience and knowledge recognized by our partners. The signing of this agreement confirms our cooperation with Orano, one of the largest players in this sector. This agreement will create ideal conditions for combining our skills, technical and financial resources to achieve the goals we have defined.”