Leading uranium producer Kazatomprom (LON: KAP) (FSE: 0ZQ) has received an exploration license from authorities in Kazakhstan to develop its own deposit of rare metals in the country’s Aktobe Region.
The company announced the development on Thursday and plans to undertake geological assessments of the subsoil at the site to determine how much tantalum, niobium and beryllium can be extracted. The three rare metals are utilized for a variety of applications, including jet engine construction, satellites, computers and even missiles.
The company will develop the deposit through its wholly-owned subsidiary Ulba Metallurgical Plant JSC (UMP), a company known for producing uranium fuel for nuclear power stations.
Kazatomprom says it and UMP already possessed technologies for obtaining rare earth metals prior to acquiring the deposit’s license.
The company implemented a program last year focused on scientific and technological advancements in the field of rare metals that will continue to be active until 2029.
“The plant (UMP) is the only one in the Commonwealth of Independent States and one of the largest enterprises in the world with a full production cycle from processing tantalum, niobium and beryllium to the production of high–quality finished products,” reads the news release from Kazatomprom.
Last month, the company announced the establishment of a sulfuric acid plant in Kazakhstan’s Turkestan Region. The substance is a key component in uranium mining through the in-situ leaching extraction method.
The majority state-owned company was established in 1997 and produces nuclear fuel pellets and rods in addition to uranium and rare metals. In 2021, Kazakhstan produced approximately 45 per cent of the world’s mined uranium, according to the World Nuclear Association.
Kazatomprom shares dropped by 0.39 per cent Friday to €25.70 on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.