The company has discovered that the Central Jordan Area, at about 80km south of Amman, holds nearly 36,389 metric tons of uranium oxide that can be extracted cost-effectively.

The planned facility is expected to have annual processing capacity of 300-400 tons, which can be later expanded to 1,500 tons per year.

JUMCO general manager Samer Kahook told The Jordan Times that the government is seeking strategic partnership for the development of the plant before the end of 2014, with government holding majority ownership in the venture.

"The design and the engineering works on the plant are expected to start in the next couple of years and in four to five years from now the plant is expected to go operational gradually," added Kahook.

"The uranium extracted through the plant will be either sold on the international market or enriched abroad and brought back to Jordan to be used in the generation of the planned nuclear reactor in the Kingdom."

With these developments, the government intends to cut down $2bn spending over diesel and heavy fuel purchase for power generation.

JUMCO estimates that the uranium resources in the central region are expected to increase to 65,979 tons, as the company is undertaking additional exploration programs in the 350km2 area.