* Says to target more acquisitions after Uranium One stake
* Expects to boost Uranium One output by 30 pct in 2011
(Adds information on leading uranium producers, details)
MOSCOW, June 9 Russian state-controlled miner
ARMZ is eyeing more acquisitions in a bid to become one of the
world's top 3 uranium producers after buying a controlling stake
in Canada's Uranium One UUU.TO.
"We view Uranium One as a company to ensure global growth
for ARMZ and therefore as a platform for mergers and
acquisitions," ARMZ director general Vadim Zhivov told reporters
ARMZ sealed a deal to increase its stake in Uranium One to
at least 51 percent in a complex transaction on Tuesday.
The deal will create an international heavyweight in an
industry key to the building of new nuclear power plants --
widely seen as an alternative to diminishing hydrocarbon
According to ARMZ's website, the company was the world's
fifth largest uranium producer in 2009, behind Rio Tinto
(RIO.AX), Cameco (CCO.TO), Kazatomprom and Areva CEPFI.PA.
Uranium One ranked eighth.
In order to increase its share of the global uranium market,
ARMZ plans to continue to grow outside Russia, which holds
one-tenth of the world's reserves.
When asked who ARMZ could acquire next, Zhivov said: "It is
not wise to predict what will happen next. We have to close the
deal and capitalise on synergies... When we cement everything we
will move forward with Uranium One shareholders."
He added ARMZ has no plans to further increase its stake in
Uranium One after completing the deal, which is expected to
close later this year.
In a separate meeting with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and
the head of ARMZ's Rosatom parent company, Sergei Kiriyenko, the
executive, said that the acquisition will allow ARMZ to supply
Kazakh uranium to Russian nuclear plants.
"With the acquisition of this controlling stake we are
entering the extraction timetable established in order to cover
the domestic demand," he said.
Uranium One operates several projects in the Central Asian
republic, while ARMZ already operates two mines in Russia, with
a third under construction.
ARMZ also holds licenses for several other uranium deposits,
including the Elkon field in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia).
This deposit is estimated to hold 5.3 percent of the world's
recoverable reserves, and Zhivov said talks are ongoing with
possible partners before production begins in 2015.
The firms will produce a combined 7,130 tonnes in the
current year -- including a 2,000 tonne contribution from
Uranium One -- while the Canadian group is expected to boost
output by 30 percent in 2011.
Rosatom also recently said it wanted to invest $1 billion to
explore uranium in Namibia. Rosatom head Sergei Kiriyenko said
the uranium could be used for a nuclear power plant Russia is
building in Turkey. [ID:nLDE64J1D9]
Uranium One has assets in Kazakhstan, the United States and
(Reporting by Polina Devitt and Gleb Bryanksi, Writing by John
Bowker and Alfred Kueppers; Editing by Hans Peters)