All employees and contractors at Moinkum and Tortkuduk operations of Joint Venture KATCO LLC were tested for COVID-19, as of Jan. 22, 2021; the final reports have now been received, showing 128 positive cases out of the 666 PCR tests performed, Trend reports citing Kazatomprom National Atomic Company JSC.
On Jan. 21, it was reported that Kazakhstan’s Kazatomprom National Atomic Company JSC has recorded several positive cases of COVID-19 at the Company’s Kazakh-French Joint Venture, KATCO LLC, operating in the Turkestan region of the country.
Personnel who tested positive were isolated and are receiving treatment if required, and contact tracing was completed to quarantine exposed individuals. In accordance with the orders of the Chief State Sanitary Doctor of the Suzak District of the Turkestan Region, both sites were placed under a quarantine, which will remain in effect until retesting confirms that it is safe to lift the restrictions.
Due to the high case count and the introduction of the quarantine, several non-core site activities have been suspended. However, KATCO is able to safely continue key operations and expects that the current situation will not have a significant impact on its planned 2021 annual production volumes.
Kazatomprom and its France-based joint venture partner, Orano Mining, are providing ongoing support to affected employees and ensuring strict compliance with the requirements of authorized government agencies to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
KATCO does not expect the site quarantine to have an impact on drilling or planned 2021 production, given the camp layouts and separation between workers involved in wellfield development and those involved in the production.
Kazatomprom is the world’s largest producer of uranium, with the company’s attributable production representing approximately 24 percent of global primary uranium production in 2019.
The Group benefits from the largest reserve base in the industry and operates, through its subsidiaries, JVs, and Associates, 26 deposits grouped into 14 mining assets. All of the Company’s mining operations are located in Kazakhstan and mined using ISR technology with a focus on maintaining industry-leading health, safety, and environmental standards.