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French nuclear fuel cycle company Orano has signed an agreement with Uzbekistan to cooperate in the development of uranium mining and exploration in the central Asian country.

Orano said in a statement that “in a few months” the two parties will set up a joint venture for the purpose, with 51% held by Orano and 49% by Uzbekistan’s state-owned GoscomGeology.

Orano said mining projects will focus on the Navoiy region in the uranium-rich Kyzylkum desert of central Uzbekistan.

The two partners plan to conduct borehole drilling in the area to improve the classification of resources already identified by GoscomGeology and potentially discover new uranium resources.

The first activities in the field are expected to begin in the first half of 2020, Orano said.

Last month, the upper house of Uzbekistan’s parliament approved legislation on the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

In September 2018, Russia and Uzbekistan signed a preliminary agreement to cooperate on the construction of a nuclear power station in Uzbekistan.

Date: Friday, 06 September 2019
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