MOSCOW, July 21 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's leading uranium mining company Atomredmetzoloto, owned by state nuclear power corporation Atomenergoprom, said on Monday it intends to set up a joint venture with France's Areva.
"In December 2007, a memorandum of understanding was signed with Areva. Now we are considering setting up a joint venture for uranium prospecting and mining in promising areas in Russia and Africa," Atomredmetzoloto said in a statement.
Atomenergoprom, set up in 2007, became a part of state nuclear power corporation Rosatom in February this year.
The Russian uranium mining company has also established partner relations with Japan's Mitsui for joint participation in investment projects for uranium prospecting and mining, the statement said.
The Russian company will also develop cooperation with South Korea's LG International Corp. in the geological prospecting and development of uranium deposits in promising areas, the statement said.
Atomredmetzoloto is currently participating in uranium joint ventures in Kazakhstan and is considering developing uranium deposits in Ukraine, the statement said.
The company has also reached an agreement on setting up a joint venture with Russia's second largest bank, VTB, to start uranium prospecting in Namibia, the statement said.
Atomredmetzoloto produced 3,413 metric tons of uranium in 2007, a 7% rise year-on-year. The company plans to produce 3,880 tons in 2008.
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.