September 20, 2011 / 6:41 PM / 8 years ago

France to help Kazakhstan develop rare earths

ALMATY (Reuters) - French research companies will help Kazakhstan develop its deposits of rare earth metals, the Central Asian nation’s state uranium miner Kazatomprom said on Tuesday.

Kazatomprom said it signed a strategic partnership deal with the Bureau de Recherches Geologiques et Minieres (BRGM), France’s public institution in earth science applications, and the European Company for Strategic Intelligence (CEIS).

They will cooperate in exploring the geology of rare earth metals, development of production technology, as well as feasibility studies for mining projects.

Kazakhstan, the world’s largest uranium miner, plans to join the race to supply rare earth metals to a global market squeezed by Chinese exports.

Kazakhstan is potentially highly prospective in rare earths, but has yet to define a detailed and guaranteed resource base.

Reporting by Olga Orininskaya; Editing by Alison Birrane

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