AREVA has signed an agreement with Mongolian state-owned nuclear company MonAtom to develop uranium mines in Mongolia.

The companies have set-up a joint venture AREVA Mines LLC, which is 66% owned by AREVA and 34% owned by MonAtom. An agreement for Mitsubishi Corporation to take an equity interest has also been signed, AREVA said.

AREVA has been carrying out uranium exploration activities in Mongolia since 1997. Resources at two uranium deposits in the provinces of Dornogobi, Dulaan Uul and Zoovch Ovoo, are estimated at 60,000 tonnes, AREVA said.

Commenting on the agreement AREVA president and CEO Luc Oursel said it would enable AREVA to "develop the uranium sector in Mongolia and to pursue the geographic diversification of AREVA’s mining activities."

Mr. Oursel was present for the signing ceremony together with Mr. Ken Kobayashi, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Corporation, and the French and Mongolian foreign affairs ministers.

Yellow cake, AREVA ore processing (Source: AREVA, LESAGE PHILIPPE)