LONDON, October 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
The global nuclear industry remains buoyant despite the Fukushima disaster, and Russia is looking to Western partners as it expands its nuclear investments both at home and abroad, Sergei Kirienko, the former Prime Minister of Russia and director general of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, told investors today in London.
"Our goal is to open up the sector to broad, free dialogue with the Western investment community," Mr Kirienko told an audience at The Savoy hotel at an event arranged by Canaccord, the investment bank. "We took a vital step towards this goal with our purchase of a majority stake in Uranium One (TSX:UUU)."
"We set out to win the trust of shareholders and show the global investment community that a Russian state company knows and can play by the 'rules of the game' for global public companies," Mr Kirienko said. "The past year and a half have shown that we are succeeding."
Mr Kirienko thanked Uranium One Chairman Ian Telfer for making the acquisition a success, with Uranium One shares outperforming peers since the acquisition and holding their value amid global market turbulence. "Personal dialogue and mutual trust between us and the board of directors of Uranium One, and Ian Telfer personally, have been extremely important," he said.
Global demand for nuclear power and for Russian nuclear power plants (NPPs) has remained strong despite the Fukushima disaster in March. All six NPP construction contracts signed by Rosatom in 2010 and 2011 remain in place. Rosatom has also signed agreements with China and Slovakia to develop existing nuclear infrastructure, and a "road map" with India for its civilian nuclear programme. "The Fukushima factor has had almost no effect on global demand for nuclear power," Mr Kirienko said. "Most countries do not plan to replace their current nuclear capacity with other types of generation in the foreseeable future," noting that nuclear is among the safest, greenest and most economical sources of power.
"Only a very few countries with small nuclear capacity can afford to reject nuclear plants in favour of energy from fossil fuels or alternative sources," Mr Kirienko said.
The uranium market has also remained relatively stable, Mr Kirienko said. But he said that prices, which have stabilised at around US$50 per pound after falling to $40 in the immediate aftermath of the disaster, need to rise to ensure that supply remains healthy: "In our opinion, to ensure enough supply to satisfy growing demand over the next decade, the price needs to be stable at around US$70 or US$80."
Rosatom and ARMZ are now looking to strengthen their international presence further, using Uranium One as a spearhead. "The acquisition of Mantra Resources in Tanzania was the first significant step in diversifying Uranium One's production outside Kazakhstan," Mr Kirienko said. "In our opinion, southern Africa is a future growth 'hot spot' for the uranium sector, which is why the acquisition was extremely important for us."
Rosatom acquired a 51% stake in Toronto-listed Uranium One in 2010 through its 100%-owned subsidiary ARMZ Uranium Holding Co. (Atomredmetzoloto).
The State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM incorporates more than 250 enterprises and scientific institutions, including all civil nuclear companies of Russia, nuclear weapons facilities, research organizations and the world's only nuclear-propelled fleet. ROSATOM is the largest utility in Russia and produces more than 40 % of electricity in the country's European part. ROSATOM holds leading positions in the global nuclear technology market: 1st in the world simultaneous nuclear build abroad; 2nd in uranium reserves; 5th in uranium mining; 4th in nuclear electricity generation; while providing 40% of the world uranium enrichment services and 17% of the world nuclear fuel market.
ROSATOM is also tasked to fulfil Russia's international obligations in the field of the peaceful uses of atomic energy and the nuclear non-proliferation regime.
ARMZ Uranium Holding Co. (JSC Atomredmetzoloto) is one of the leaders in the world uranium mining industry. It is among top five uranium mining companies by uranium output and ranks second by reserves (726,500 tons as of January 1, 2011). ARMZ is the primary supplier of uranium feedstock to the Russian nuclear industry and in 2010 it produced 5173.4 tons of uranium at facilities in Russia and Kazakhstan.
JSC "Atomenergoprom" controls 80.37 % of Atomredmetzoloto's shares.
ARMZ together with its affiliates and subsidiaries employs over 10,000 people.
Today, ARMZ Uranium Holding Co. is the successor to the world's largest uranium production complex built by the Soviet Union. In 2008, all uranium mining companies in Russia, as well as a number of uranium joint ventures in the CIS and abroad, were brought together under ARMZ, after the restructuring of Russia's nuclear industry had been completed. In 2010, JSC Atomredmetzoloto acquired 51.4% of shares of Uranium One, Inc., a public Canadian uranium mining company.
About Uranium One
Uranium One Inc. is a Canadian-based company and is one of the world's largest publicly traded uranium producers with a primary listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange and a secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. The Company has a globally diversified portfolio of assets located in Kazakhstan, the United States, Australia and is operator of the Mkuju River Project in Tanzania. With a 51% ownership stake, Uranium One's major shareholder is JSC Atomredmetzoloto (ARMZ) which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rosatom, the Russian State Corporation for Nuclear Energy.
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