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Expert Opinion on ARMZ — Uranium One Deal
Miles A. Pomper, Senior Research Associate, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies, Canada, offers opinion on the recent ARMZ — Uranium One deal. The Russian ARMZ uranium holding signed a purchase agreement to sell a 50% interest in the Karatau Uranium Mine in Kazakhstan for consideration of 117 million common shares of Uranium One Inc.
The agreement provides for an increase in the cash payment amount in the future depending on financial results of the Karatau Uranium Mine over the next three years.
In order to support its ambitious plans to build nuclear power plants overseas, Russia needs to acquire access to sufficient supplies of uranium to fuel the reactors.
Russia needs to look to partners abroad to supply some of this fuel.
This is another step in this direction after bilateral deals with such countries as Australia and Kazakhstan.
Having an important business connection with Canada should help Russia win additional contacts in the Canadian market.
But further cooperation will depend on what Russia has to offer Canada: it is a competitive global marketplace and Canada has its own well developed nuclear industry.
Cooperation with Russia in the nuclear field is of interest to Canada because Russia’s leading role as a uranium enricher, supplier of nuclear power plants, and nuclear power plant operator jibes well with Canada’s role as a major producer of uranium and significant nuclear power plant producer and operator. In the case of access to Kazakhstan, this gives Canada access to additional uranium resources and the possibility of greater access to markets where Russia is stronger.
I think Russia’s strategy makes a great deal of sense. Most countries are seeking such international partnerships in order to gain access to new markets, gain access to additional technology and resources, and diversify the financial risks of investments in the nuclear industry.