1.1. Reason for company creation
The Czech Republic is historically one of the largest uranium producing countries. With a total production of 110,000 tons of uranium in 1946-2010. Commercial uranium mining dates back to 1840 in the Czech city of Jachymov. In 1946 - 1990, intensive exploration and extraction of uranium ores took place throughout the Czech Republic, 164 deposits were discovered, 86 of them were explored in detail, 66 were commercially mined (in the 1960’s, almost 50,000 people worked in this industry).From 1989 onwards, a gradual decline in production volumes began on the basis of a state led program to curtail production.The former state concern "Czechoslovak Uranium Industry" (CSUP) was transformed in 1992 into the state-owned enterprise "DIAMO", which in 2018 completed mining at the last of the uranium ore deposits - Rozna. The main activity of this state-owned enterprise subsequently became the elimination of the negative consequences of geological exploration, mining and production of uranium and coal as well as reclamation work to restore the ecological environment in the territories of the Czech Republic affected by this production.
In accordance with the updated “State Energy Concept of the Czech Republic”, approved in 2011, the volume of electricity generated by nuclear power plants in the Czech Republic is expected to grow significantly in the next decades. The planned increase of the importance of nuclear power in the Czech Republic's energy portfolio has given impetus to the development of the concept of the “Raw Material Policy of the Czech Republic”, according to which the demand for uranium concentrate in the Czech Republic will greatly increase.
According to the analysis of the situation in connection with the above-described long-term outlooks, and in connection with the indisputable fact that the Czech Republic has unique know-how, it was decided to form a group of specialists in the fields of geology, mining and uranium processing, which would establish the joint-stock company URANIUM INDUSTRY. This decision was established at the highest levels of state and government bodies of the Czech Republic (Parliament and Senate Czech Republic, the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Environment). The activities of the company URANIUM INDUSTRY would include geological exploration, mining and subsequent processing of uranium ores for abroad, mainly in countries with a long-term tradition of cooperation with the Czech Republic, in which the Czechoslovak geological expeditions were successfully involved in and which are considered as advantageous from the point of view of the development of trade and economic relations, i.e. primarily in Mongolia.
URANIUM INDUSTRY was founded in 2011 and uses the unique potential of the Czech Republic to achieve its goals, concentrating outstanding specialists in this industry for the implementation of individual projects (partly talking about specialists of international importance). The company has concluded cooperation agreements with leading state geological and mining organizations and private companies. Among them are such organizations as DIAMO sp, Czech Geological Survey, Faculty of Natural Sciences of Charles University in Prague, High School of Mining - Technical University in Ostrava, Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Energie - Construction and Mining OJSC, UJP Praha OJSC, MEGA OJSC , ALVEL JSC and others.
1.2. History of relations between the Czech Republic and Mongolia
Over 70 years of diplomatic relations within the framework of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA)
Over 60 years of cooperation between the Czech Republic and Mongolia in the field of geology and natural resource extraction. In the 1960’s a Czechoslovak geological expedition discovered the Erdenet copper deposit. Mining and processing of copper began in 1978. It processes 26 million tonnes of ore annually, producing 530,000 tonnes of copper concentrate and 4,500 tonnes of molybdenum concentrate annually.
In the 1980’s, the Mongolian-Czech joint venture “Mongolchekhoslovakmetal” was operating, which was engaged in geological exploration and extraction of natural resources.
Since the beginning of the 1960’s, about 25,000 Mongols studied and worked in Czechoslovakia (later in the Czech Republic), who today occupy key positions in state administrative bodies (members of parliament, minister, etc.).
1.3. History of URANIUM INDUSTRY in Mongolia
The first impulse to start activities in the field of geological exploration and mining of uranium ore in Mongolia was a proposal for cooperation from the directors of the Mongolian Mineral Resources Agency (MRAM) in April 2011. This proposal was discussed with the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic. Thanks to the active work of the ministry, official communication was initiated between the "Nuclear Energy Agency of Mongolia" (NEAM) and during the official visit of the government delegation of the Czech Republic to Mongolia in April 2012, which was also accompanied by a group of entrepreneurs, an initial cooperation agreement was reached with NEAM. Based on this agreement, URANIUM INDUSTRY, in the second half of 2012, organized a number of visits to specialized enterprises and educational events for employees of NEAM and MON-ATOM LLC (a state-owned company of Mongolia) in the Czech Republic. In November 2012, based on NEAM recommendations, the first cooperation agreement between URANIUM INDUSTRY and MON-ATOM LLC was signed in the Czech Republic, which became the beginning of a productive cooperation - the creation of a joint Czech-Mongolian enterprise "Mon-Czech Uranium":
Thanks to the support of a number of government bodies of Mongolia, at the 5th session of the Czech-Mongolian intergovernmental commission in Prague (26-27.8.2013), a project was presented to create a joint venture "Mon-Czech Uranium LLC" and, as one of the priority projects of mutual cooperation, the project was included in the official session protocol.
In an official letter to the Prime Minister of Mongolia, Norovyn Altankhuyag, the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Jiri Rusnok, expressed high interest in cooperation in the field of exploration, production and processing of uranium ores in Mongolia and in the creation of a joint venture "Mon-Czech Uranium". Subsequently, on the 2.3.2014, at the suggestion of the Mongolian Nuclear Energy Agency, the President of Mongolia Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj signed an order to hand over to the Chairman of the Board of URANIUM INDUSTRY, Dr. Milan Klecka, one of the highest state awards of Mongolia for achievements in the development of nuclear energy in Mongolia. On 6.3.2014, the Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Mongolia to the Czech Republic, D. Zumbarellham, solemnly presented the award to Dr. Milan Klecka during a ceremony at the Mongolian Embassy in Prague.
In January 2015, the President of Mongolia Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj paid an official visit to the Czech Republic. During negotiations between the President of the Czech Republic Milos Zeman and the President of Mongolia, Milos Zeman emphasized the importance of the field of exploration and mining of uranium ores in Mongolia as one of the key areas of joint cooperation between the countries.
Between April and May 2015, the Mongolian government decided that the Czech Republic and URANIUM INDUSTRY will be a strategic partner of Mongolia in the field of geological exploration, mining and processing of uranium ores, as well as in the field of subsequent reclamation of the affected areas. At a meeting of the Mongolian government, the creation of a joint venture "Mon-Czech Uranium LLC" was approved. On 12.6.2015, a solemn ceremony of the official establishment of the company "Mon-Czech Uranium LLC" took place.
Based on the recommendation and agreement of the Mongolian government, on June 17, 2015, a memorandum of understanding was signed between URANIUM INDUSTRY, the Canadian company Denison Mines Corp and state-owned NEAM to acquire assets of Denison Mines in Mongolia.
On the 11.30.2015 URANIUM INDUSTRY officially took over the assets of Denison Mines Corp in Mongolia.
In accordance with the tripartite memorandum dated 6.17.2015, the Mongolian government fulfilled its obligations and on September 20, 2015, the Agency for Mineral Resources and Petroleum Products of Mongolia (MRPAM) issued to JV Gurvansaikhan four licenses for the extraction of uranium ores at the Hairhan, Choir, Gurvan-Saihan and Ulziit deposits in central Mongolia.
1.4. Development of the partnership with the Kazakh state company NAK KAZATOMPROM
As a result of official communication with representatives of the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Prague regarding the possibility of cooperation in the field of exploration and production of uranium ores in Mongolia in August 2016, a visit to Astana by the delegation of URANIUM INDUSTRY was initiated, where a number of meetings were held with the top management of NAK KAZATOMPROM (KAP).
From 20-22.11.2016, a number of negotiations were held with the NAK KAZATOMPROM during the visit of Kazakhstan by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic L. Zaoralek, accompanied by a delegation of representatives of Czech companies.
From 6 – 8.12.2016, during a subsequent visit to Kazakhstan by a delegation of representatives of Czech companies, which accompanied the Minister of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic J. Mladek during his official visit to Kazakhstan, a memorandum of understanding was signed between URANIUM INDUSTRY and NAK KAZATOMPROM
On 6.2.2017 official negotiations were carried out between URANIUM INDUSTRY, NAK KAZATOMPROM and the Czech government authorities, during the official visit to Kazakhstan of the Chairman of the Parliament of the Czech Republic J. Hamacek, accompanied by a delegation of representatives of Czech companies. During the negotiations, the Czech Republic confirmed its high interest in the development of cooperation between NAK KAZATOMPROM and URANIUM INDUSTRY in Mongolia and in subsequent deliveries of uranium raw materials to the Czech Republic.
From 20 - 21.2.2017 URANIUM INDUSTRY organized a trip of the NAK KAZATOMPROM leadership to Mongolia, where very positive negotiations took place with the Minister of Mining, the Chairman of the Parliament, the Executive Director of the Nuclear Energy Agency and the leadership of the state-owned company MON-ATOM. Trilateral cooperation was supported at all levels.
During the 9th session of the Czech-Kazakh intergovernmental commission, held in Prague on 28.2 - 1.3.2017, the protocol solidified the support of cooperation between NAK KAZATOMPROM and URANIUM INDUSTRY.
NAK KAZATOMRPOM expressed its readiness to support URANIUM INDUSTRY in the implementation of the project for exploration, mining and production of uranium in Mongolia, for which cooperation was subsequently initiated between such subsidiaries of KAP as the Institute of High Technologies and Volkovgeology, the leading experts of NAK KAZATOMPROM in geology, geophysics, hydrogeology, mining, leaching and production planning.
As a result, in 2019, a feasibility study was completed on pilot production at the Hairhan field. The unique technology, which will be used for mining by means of in situ leaching, will meet the most modern requirements applied by NAK KAZATOMPROM. Some of the technologies are KAP's unique know-how, which will be used for the first time in work outside of Kazakhstan. In parallel, NAK KAZATOMPROM’s specialists and involved companies were engaged in systematizing the available geological materials, clarifying the volume of reserves and developing a plan for further production. A bankable feasibility study was prepared for the Hairhan field, business plans for the development of the Ulziit and Gurvan-Saihan fields, a scoping study for onshore heap leaching at the Hairhan field. At the moment, a large team of geologist is carrying out the final drilling works to make the Hairhan deposit construction ready for 2023. There is every prerequisite to expect that due to its low cost and state-of-the-art technology, the GSJV project will become one of the most cost-effective uranium mining projects on the market today.