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MEI Online: Commodities: Metallic Ores: Rare Earths & Thorium: Latest News: April 30th 2013


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:: Russian Billionaire Alexander Nesis Ventures in Rare Earths Production


Russian billionaire Alexander Nesis is poised to enter a joint venture that will tackle the extraction and production of precious rare earths from the country's giant Tomtor deposit in Yakutia.

According to a report by Kommersant daily, Mr Nesis' ICT Group and Russian state-owned Rostekhnadzor will form the JV, together with yet unnamed investment fund. ICT Group will control 50 per cent plus one share, Rostekhnadzor will get 25 per cent plus one share, while the rest goes to the investment fund.

Russia holds the world's second-largest explored reserves of rare earths at about 30 per cent, as well as the world's largest anticipated reserves. Ores from the Tomtor rare earths deposit in Yakutia have been found to contain a phenomenal 12 per cent of total global reserves. Proven reserves were said to be a total of 154 million tonnes, while possible reserves may exceed all the rest of the world's reserves combined. Among the rare earths at Tomtor include niobium oxides, yttrium, scandium and terbium.

Only a number of Russian entrepreneurs, however, have delved into the rare earths extraction and production business.

The JV will likewise manage monazite storage in warehouses as well as build a processing plant in Krasnoufimsk in the Ural region. The plant will start construction this year and is expected to be finished on 2017.

A report by the United Nations Environment Programme earlier had said global demand for rare earths and other metals will multiply tenfold above prevailing levels spurred by the equally growing appetite from developing economies.




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