9 Jun 2010 16:33

ARMZ not planning to increase stake in Uranium One

MOSCOW. June 9 (Interfax) - Atomredmetzoloto (ARMZ) is not planning to increase its stake in Canada's Uranium One after acquiring a controlling stake in the company, the Russian uranium miner's chief, Vadim Zhivov, told reporters.

Zhivov also said ARMZ was keen for Uranium One to remain a public company.

ARMZ said on June 8 that it would gain control of Uranium One via a supplementary share issue, to be paid for with stakes in two Kazakhstan-based uranium mining joint ventures and a cash consideration of $610 million.

The stakes in the joint ventures include 50% in Akbastau and 49.7% in Zarechnoye. The deal will boost ARMZ's stake in Uranium One to 51% from 23.1%.

The deal will require clearance from regulators in Kazakhstan, Canada, Australia and the U.S. Once it closes, ARMZ will have rights to Uranium One's uranium production in proportion to its stake. ARMZ expects to receive all permissions and agreement no later than the fourth quarter.

Zhivov said ARMZ valued the assets that would be contributed as payment for the controlling stake at more than $1 billion, and that a committee of Uranium One independent directors would perform an independent valuation.

Oleg Fedyashin, head of ARMZ's corporate department, said Uranium One's output would rise a third next year as the result of the deal. Uranium One has the capacity to boost output by up to 60%, he said.

Uranium One owns 70% of the Akdala and South Inkai mines, 50% of Karatau and 30% of Kharasan-1 in Kazakhstan; plus assets in the U.S., South Africa and Australia.

ARMZ's uranium reserves are 546,000 tonnes, and output last year was 4,624 tonnes. The state Rosatom corporation is the biggest shareholder with 80.34%.