Kazakhstan-focused uranium miner Kazatomprom raised its 2022 revenue guidance, as geopolitical tensions and discussion of new nuclear projects spur higher prices.
The world’s largest uranium miner lifted its revenue forecast to KZT790-810 billion tenge ($1.78-1.83 billion), up from KZT610-630 billion previously.
Production and sales volume guidance for 2022 are unchanged.
Kazakhstan’s national uranium company reported that its production rose 1% on year in Q1, although attributable output declined 4%.
Total sales volumes doubled in the period, reflecting the timing of customer-scheduled deliveries. Realized uranium prices were 33% higher.
Natural uranium product coming from Kazakhstan accounts for more than 45% of the global primary supply.
The Russia-Ukraine conflict has deepened the ongoing nuclear fuel access concerns that began following the covid-related disruptions to uranium supply in 2020.
Although there have been no restrictions imposed on nuclear fuel to date, negative sentiment has increased and legislative initiatives have been proposed by EU and US lawmakers to ban nuclear fuel imports from Russia.
“The uncertain future availability of Russian fuel and processing services has brought concerns related to security of supply for western utilities, driving an increase in both spot and term market activity, putting significant upward pressure on natural uranium, conversion and enrichment prices,” said Kazatomprom.
“As a result of the geopolitical developments stemming from the Russia-Ukraine war, spot price rose to $58.30/lb U3O8, a level not seen since April 2011.”