Kazakhstan's Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources approved Canada-based Uranium One's acquisition of a 50-percent interest in the Karatau uranium venture from Russia's Atomredmetzoloto (ARMZ).



In June, Uranium One announced it would buy a 50-percent stake in the project, in exchange for 117 million common shares, about 16.6 percent, of the Canadian company and $90 million in cash. Uranium One may pay additional $60 million depending on performance over the next three years.


The ministry's approval includes a waiver of the pre-emptive right of the Kazakh state under the Subsoil Use Law of Kazakhstan.


Uranium One said that it expects to finalize the acquisition on December 15, subject to approvals from the Kazakh Anti-Monopoly Commission and the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board.


The acquisition of Karatau will boost Uranium One's production by 2.3 million pounds of uranium oxide in 2010. The company said on Friday that it expected to produce 6.8 million pounds of uranium in 2010, if the Karatau transaction is completed by year-end.