KazAtomProm National Nuclear Company, BRGM [French Bureau for Geological and Mining Research] and CEIS have signed an agreement on strategic partnership, Press Service of KazAtomProm reported.
The document was signed September 19 during the working visit of President Nazarbayev to France. The agreement was initiated by KazAtomProm as part of its campaign to expand technical expertise and contribute to the nation’s industrial development.
According to the agreement, the three entities will be jointly working along a number of vectors, notably geology and metallogeny of rare and rare earth metals; rare and rare earth metals analysis (including uranium); rare and rare earth metals extraction technology development; feasibility studies for mining and processing projects.
“Collaboration of KazAtomProm with leading French companies facilitates technology transfer (…) production of rare earth metals is a new industry in Kazakhstan (…)”, the statement of the Company reads.
KazAtomProm National Nuclear Company Chairman Vladimir Shkolnik had briefed early March that annual global demand for rare earth metals stands at 130 000 tons, and the world is facing deficit of the metal. “This is exactly the right time to enter the market and become a major player (…) Currently, most of the rare earths are produced in China, but the country has been limiting exports of late, and its domestic demand is expected to outstrip its production. Since the metals are a strategic resource of the countries, to implement the plan we need approval at the heist level”, he said at the time.
As defined by IUPAC, rare earth elements or rare earth metals are a set of seventeen chemical elements in the periodic table. Because of their geochemical properties, rare earth elements are typically dispersed and not often found in concentrated and economically exploitable forms.