How Chevron Is Shaking Up The Uranium Industry
Far away from Astana, the glitzy capital of Kazakhstan, uranium exploration is taking place at an unprecedented rate. Located in the steppe region of Southern Kazakhstan, Inkai is as desolate and cold as it can get in Central Asia. However, this region holds some of the largest uranium reserves in the world. At the moment, Kazakhstan is the largest producer of uranium, and international companies know that their chances of becoming major uranium companies depend on their stakes in Kazakhstan.
Chevron (CVX) has undertaken uranium exploration projects in McDermitt Caldera in the U.S., but I think it is about time it ventured into the steppes of Kazakhstan. If Chevron decides to venture into Kazakhstan, its main competitor would be Cameco (CCJ). The uranium mines at Inkai are owned 60% by Cameco and the rest is owned by Kazatomprom. Kazakhstan’s dictator Nursultan Nazarbayev is central to the development of uranium projects within the country and has been more than welcoming in terms of granting licenses and contracts to western companies.
Uranium projects are high on priority in Kazakhstan and there is a lot of international interest in the projected plans. For instance, Japan signed a deal with Kazakhstan’s state-owned nuclear giant, Kazatomprom, so that nuclear fuel is supplied to Japan by 2013. After the March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, Japan has resorted to closing all its nuclear facilities, including the one in the northern tip of the country in Tomari.To continue reading, click here.