Areva signs uranium deal with Mongolia
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius led the latest foreign investment delegation to visit Mongolia accompanied by an array of leaders of France’s biggest industrial companies.
The French industrials visiting Mongolia included nuclear developer Areva, pharmaceutical multinational Sanofi, and gas companies Air Liquide and GDF Suez, who see big opportunities as Mongolia continues to develop.
French nuclear energy giant Areva signed a deal with Mongolia’s state-owned Mon-Atom on October 26, to develop two uranium mines in the Gobi desert. According to the statement from Areva, the agreement would create a company that would be 66 percent owned by Areva and 34 owned by Mon-Atom, and Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation would take an equity interest.
Further details of the deal, which was signed by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, were not immediately announced.
Foreign Affairs Minister Bold said the deal represented an important step for the resource-rich but still impoverished nation.
Areva, which has had a presence in Mongolia for more than 15 years, said that exploration work had discovered two uranium deposits with estimated reserves of 60,000 tons.
As part of his itinerary, Fabius called on the President of Mongolia, Ts.Elbegdorj. At the meeting the sides discussed the further deepened mutual cooperation of the two countries in the cultural and agricultural sectors. Cultural relations are vital to mutual diplomatic relations, said Fabius, and he announced that a Mongolian cultural exhibition is being planned for display at the Louvre Museum during the upcoming visit of Mongolia’s Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism to France.
President Ts.Elbegdorj expressed an aim for relations between Mongolia and France to reach the comprehensive partnership level, and thanked France for signing the joint declaration on approving Mongolia’s status as a non-nuclear state.
Fabius conveyed French President Francois Hollande’s invitation to Ts.Elbegdorj to visit France in January 2014.
Diplomatic relations between Mongolia and France were established in 1965. The visit of the French Foreign Minister to Mongolia is the first visit at the foreign ministerial level and is important to the deepening of political understanding and trust between Mongolia and France, for enriching bilateral relations with economic dimensions, and for consolidating the legal grounds of bilateral ties.
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