Mongolia will buy stake in Areva's uranium venture- PM

September 17
8:23 AM 2013

Prime Minister Norovyn Altankhuyag of Mongolia said his government would be purchasing a stake in the local uranium venture of Areva, a France-based firm. In an interview with Bloomberg, Altankhuyag said his government would be buying a 34% stake in Areva Mongol. He added that this number of shares was considered a strategic deposit under Mongolian law.

The Mongolian leader also hoped that the acquisition would signal his government's willingness to bring back investors. "Through this we see that foreign investors are continuing to invest in Mongolia," he said.

According to Bloomberg, Areva Mongol had been granted 27 uranium exploration permits. It also wanted to upgrade them so that they could mine in Mongolia. Areva said through its website that its Mongolian unit was already negotiating with state-owned mining firm MonAtom for an equity stake.

Altankhuyag saw a cause in bringing back direct foreign investment in his country. More stringent rules as well as the government's disagreement with the Rio Tinto Group had caused foreign investments to shrink by 42% or USD 1 billion in the first half of 2013.

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