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Kazatomprom to maintain value-focused strategy, chairman says

Kazakh uranium producer National Atomic Co. Kazatomprom JSC will maintain its "value over volume" plan as it is duty-bound to act "responsibly" and not flood the market with more uranium, the Financial Times reported Sept. 6, citing chairman Galymzhan Pirmatov.

"We no longer look at uranium as a resource to be used but as an asset we are managing," Pirmatov said. Kazatomprom's in situ recovery technique enables it to flex its production up and down, he noted.

Going forward, the company will revise its production levels to meet forecasts and will also assess the earlier shutdown of some of its mines.

"If we produced what we planned it would have been pretty close to 30,000 tonnes," the executive said.

The company recently established a trading arm in Switzerland, which has allowed it to make wiser production decisions.

Kazatomprom, which is the world's largest uranium producer, is set for privatization later in the year. It announced plans in late 2017 to trim its planned uranium output 20% by 2020 in a bid to tighten oversupply.

The Wall Street Journal reported in May that the Kazakh government was planning to sell at least 25% of Kazatomprom.

Pirmatov said the government could decide to list the miner on a western stock exchange, but no decision has been made yet. Analysts, meanwhile, see the miner leaning toward an IPO in London.