Uzbekistan Government published a resolution for public consultation on setting up of a joint venture with the French Orano Mining SA for exploration and mining of uranium in the Navoi province.
The Uzbek Committee of Geology and Mineral Resources and Orano Mining in October 2018 during the visit to France of the President Shavkat Mirziyoyev signed an agreement on the implementation of a project for conducting joint geological exploration works on promising “sandstone” type uranium deposit in Uzbekistan with further deposit development.
The authorized capital of the joint venture will be 34.5 million dollars, with Orano owning 51%, the process equipment and technology, the share of the State Geology Committee is 49% due to the cost of geological and other information on the contract sites. It is planned that the joint venture will be set up before August 2019.
The joint venture will conduct phased exploration in promising sandstone type uranium deposits in North and South Djenkeldi and Yangiquduq of the Navoi province.
Before sandstone-type uranium deposits were not proposed for development to foreign investors; they are part of the resource base of the Navoi Mining and Metallurgical Complex, which has the monopoly on mining, enrichment and export of uranium in Uzbekistan.
In recent years, the Uzbekistan government has been trying to attract foreign investors for the development of black shale uranium deposits, which are currently not being developed and require significant investments.
In 2007, uranium production in Uzbekistan increased by 0.5% to 2.27 thousand tons. Data for recent years is classified. Uzbekistan exports all of the uranium it produces.