Russia and Armenia to establish joint venture for uranium exploration and mining

Publish date: May 3, 2007

The Armenian Environmental Minister, Vartan Aivazyan stated his intentions for creating the joint enterprise during negotiations with Rosatom’s Sergei Kirienko, who has likewise asserted that Russia is prepared to sign onto a cooperative agreement.

The head of Rosatom took Soviet archive materials to the meeting, which estimate Armenian uranium reserves at 20 thousand tons. According to Kirienko, known deposits were inadequately surveyed and, with the application of new surveying methods, it is possible that the amount of uranium in these deposits might turn out to be 1.5 to 2 times greater than previously expected. Only three deposits have been surveyed in Armenia so far. Kirienko also stated that it was obvious that Armenia’s uranium supplies would be able to meet the needs of its current nuclear power plant and perhaps even the needs of a new one. Kirienko also announced that Russian specialists would be prepared to help Armenia with the construction of a second nuclear plant if such a request was made.

The head of Rosatom estimates that Armenia’s reserves will be significant enough to allow for foreign export, in addition to domestic use. Environmental minister Aivazyana estimates that half of the preparatory work for the surveying has been done and that in May permission would be granted for excavations ITAR-TASS reported.