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Toshiba Signs Letters of Intent with Kazatomprom in JV for Rare Metals

23 Oct, 2009

TOKYO—Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO-6502) signed a letter of intent with Kazatomprom, a state-owned company of the Republic of Kazakhstan, concerning the possible establishment of a joint venture in rare metals.

In April 2007, Japan and Kazakhstan signed an agreement on the development and enhancement of a strategic partnership in the field of nuclear energy. Toshiba and Kazatomprom have subsequently developed a complementary partnership that includes Toshiba's participation in the Kharassan uranium mine development project in Kazakhstan, and Kazatomprom becoming an indirect minority shareholder in Westinghouse Electric Company LLC, in which Toshiba holds majority ownership. In June last year, Toshiba and Kazatomprom signed a memorandum of understanding on advancing studies of possible cooperation in rare metals related to nuclear energy, such as beryllium and tantalum.

Under the letter of intent signed on October 22, the two companies will now study initiation of a joint venture operation in rare metals, including rare earth. The envisaged JV will take advantage of Kazatomprom's expertise in front-end business, such as mine development and creating concentrate, and Toshiba's prowess in manufacturing high value- added products.

Demand for rare metals is increasing, as they are used in diverse energy-saving, environmentally friendly products, such as motors for electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles. Alongside this development, assuring stable supply has become more important than ever. Toshiba and Kazatomprom aim to make effective recovery and use of by-products, such as Dysprosium, Neodymium and Rhenium, of operational uranium mines. They aim to achieve stable supply of rare metals and their utilization in Toshiba's products, and to contribute to a lessening of the environmental loads attendant upon the exploitation of mineral resources.

In order to reinforce the business foundation of each company, Toshiba and Kazatomprom will continue to study consideration of mutually beneficial partnerships with a broader perspective extending beyond the field of nuclear energy.

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