JV Inkai Main Process Plant Startup Ceremony


The Kazakh and Canadian partners in Joint Venture Inkai (JV Inkai) held a ceremony today celebrating the main process plant opening and startup of the Inkai uranium minesite in Suzak Region of South Kazakhstan Oblast.

The ceremony, recognizing the plant's production startup, was attended by company managers and founders, personnel from Canada's Embassy in the Republic of Kazakhstan, representatives of the RoK Ministry of Industry and New Technologies and local dignitaries.

The company's main process plant is located near Taikonur Village of Suzak Region, South Kazakhstan Oblast. The minesite is the largest hydrogenous type deposit located in Shu-Sarysu uranium ore province. JV Inkai has licenses for uranium mining on the areas referred to as Block 1 and Block 2 and an exploration license for the area referred to as Block 3. The results of the test operations proved the effectiveness of the ISR mining method and the economic feasibility of the project.

The company's plans to operate the main process plant were accepted by the State Committee in February of this year, allowing JV Inkai to start full-scale production. The commercial production provides for startup of the new main process plant, the satellite plants, the well field, the camp and various support facilities. The plant's design capacity will be 2,000 tons of U or 5.2 million pounds of U per year.

Joint Venture Inkai, established in March 1996, is owned 60% by Canadian company Cameco Corporation and 40% by National Atomic Company Kazatomprom JSC.

In anticipation of expanding production in the near future, the number of employees will be increased from 472 to 546.

JV Inkai was one of the first in the industry to get certified for internationally recognized health, safety and environmental standards BSI OHSAS: 18001 and ISO 14001: 2004. Success in this area is also demonstrated by winning annual health, safety and better workplace contests held among enterprises operating in the South Kazakhstan. This year Inkai was awarded the Mary-Jean Mitchell Green Chair's Award – the highest award granted by Cameco Corporation in this field.

JV Inkai, together with Kazatomprom-Demeu LLP, established the Demur Corporate Fund to implement social programs focused on improvement of Suzak region infrastructure. Cameco Corporation provided a USD 4 million investment to implement the programs. During recent years, Demur completed an overhaul and supplied new equipment to T. Mombekov's secondary school, the club (200 seats), the gym, the water supply system of Taikonur village and also constructed the medical aid station.

JV Inkai actively participates in various associations that aim to improve interactions between business and government, introduce the theory and practice of effective corporate governance, corporate social responsibility as well as improving the investment climate and legal environment for doing business.

The company is a co-founder of the Kazakhstan-Canada Business Association; a member of the Supervisory Council of the Kazakhstan Mining Association and a member of the American Chamber of Commerce in Kazakhstan. The company management staff representatives are management board members of the Kazakhstan Nuclear Society.

JV Inkai LLP was one of the first in the industry to join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative as well as one of the first in Kazakhstan to join the UN Global Compact, an initiative of the United Nations concerning corporate social responsibility. Cameco CEO Gerald W. Grandey is a member of Foreign Investors Council which is chaired by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Cameco Corporation is one of the world's largest uranium producers, a significant supplier of conversion services and one of two Candu fuel manufacturers in Canada. Our competitive position is based on our controlling ownership of the world's largest high-grade reserves and low-cost operations. Our uranium products are used to generate clean electricity in nuclear power plants around the world, including Ontario where we are a limited partner in North America's largest nuclear electricity generating facility. We also explore for uranium in North America and Australia, Asia and Australia. Our shares trade on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges. Our head office is in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Kazatomprom is the national operator of the Republic of Kazakhstan for export of uranium and its compounds, rare metals, nuclear fuel for nuclear power plants, special purpose equipment, technologies and double-use materials. The main activities of the company are: geological exploration, uranium production, manufacture of nuclear fuel cycle products, reactor construction, nuclear power plants, production of construction materials, the electric energy sector, scientific support of production and social welfare and training of personnel. Today Kazatomprom has more than 26,000 employees and is amongst the leading uranium production companies in the world.