KATCO LLP, a joined subsidiary of AREVA and NAC KAZATOMPROM JSC, has produced its 20,000th ton of uranium since beginning industrial production in 2005. This milestone was achieved on December 2, less than three years after the 10,000-ton-mark was reached in March 2011.
Told about the production of the 20,000th ton, Gerard Fries, KATCO General Director, said: “I am very proud to head this company which is a model in the mining industry. Thanks to the commitment of our teams, a new page in KATCO’s short but brilliant history is written. KATCO has the potential and key assets to continue on the path of success and to continue to break other records.”
Created in 1996, the KATCO joint venture has become over the years the largest uranium mining enterprise in Kazakhstan. It is also since 2009, the world’s largest uranium mining operation using in situ recovery (ISR) method.
The company exploits and develops two uranium mines in southern Kazakhstan, using the highest mining standards in terms of safety as environmental protection. The sites have modern facilities able to extract, treat, process and pack several thousand tons of uranium every year. In 2012, KATCO produced over 3,600 tons of uranium and aims at producing 4,000 tons in 2013.
The 1200 employees of the company, more than 50% of which coming from local communities, are committed in demonstrating Kazakhstan’s high-skilled level in uranium extraction. Trainings are regularly organized to teach them new and modern techniques used at the international level such as 5S or Kaizen.
The company, backed and supported by its shareholders, conducts also an active social policy in favor of local residents. In ten years, KATCO LLP and its shareholder have spent about 1.5 billion Kazakh tenge for social projects such as schools and scholarships or to provide financial helps to disadvantaged people.