Russia and Mongolia on Tuesday signed a deal to set up a joint venture to mine and process uranium in Mongolia, with an eye on export to the global market.

The fifty—fifty uranium joint venture deal was inked in Ulan—Bator during Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to the Asian nation bordering Russia.

“Russia is the first country with which Mongolia has signed a deal on cooperation in uranium activities. This is an important political signal,” Chief of Russia’s RosAtom State Corporation, Sergei Kiriyenko was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.

Mr. Kiriyenko said Russian investment in the project would reach “hundreds of millions of dollars,” and that the company will be established before the end of this year, on a parity basis, in line with an earlier MoU signed in March 17.

He did not rule out that Japan could also join the project focusing on the Dornod deposit and the East Gobi uranium fields in Mongolia.

Dornod, which was prospected with the help of Soviet experts, is believed to contain half of the country’s overall uranium reserves, estimated at 62,000 metric tons.

Mr. Kiriyenko said the Dornod deposit was also of interest as it is located only 200 km from Russia’s Priargun uranium ore mining and processing factory, which accounts for over 90 per cent of national uranium output.

Mr. Kiriyenko said since Russia has its own stocks and reserves of one million tones of uranium, the produce of the joint venture with Mongolia, would be mainly exported to third nations.

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