Azerbaijan, Baku, June 20 / Trend E. Kosolapova/
Kazakhstan can increase uranium production to 30,000 tons in 2-3 years, Novosti-Kazakhstan quoted deputy head of the Kazakh National Atomic Company Kazatomprom Nurlan Ryspanov as saying.
"Our resources and existing capacities allow achieving production of 30,000 tons of uranium or more per year," Ryspanov said on Wednesday while speaking at the 5th annual Central Asia Mining and Metallurgical Congress in Almaty.
Kazakhstan produced 19,450 tons of uranium or 35 percent of world production in 2011. Kazatomprom is also the world''s leading uranium producer.
Ryspanov said that the increase in uranium production can be achieved by expanding the current capacity or intensifying the leaching process depending on the market conditions.
Kazatomprom has a stable demand for its production even after the accident at Japanese nuclear power plant Fukushima.
"Nuclear power-engineering has no real alternatives, so there is no risk of significant reduction in the world demand for natural uranium," he said.
Ryspanov added that Kazakhstan''s uranium production will hit 20,000 tons in 2012.
Kazatomprom is Kazakh national operator for import and export of uranium, rare metals, nuclear fuel for power plants, special equipment and dual-purpose materials. A total of 100 percent of the company''s stock is held by Kazakh Sovereign Wealth Fund Samruk-Kazyna.