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Toshiba and Kazatomprom Sign Definitive Agreement on JV for Rare Metals

3 Jun, 2010

TOKYO—Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO-6502) today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement on establishing a joint venture in rare metals with Kazatomprom, the state-owned company responsible for promoting Kazakhstan's nuclear-related businesses. The parties will now obtain necessary approvals from the Kazakhstan government and plan to establish the new joint venture in September 2010.

In April 2007, Japan and Kazakhstan signed an agreement on promoting a strategic partnership in the field of nuclear energy. Embracing the spirit of this agreement, Toshiba and Kazatomprom have developed a complementary partnership that includes Toshiba's participation in the development of uranium mines in Kharassan and Kazatomprom's indirect minority shareholding in Westinghouse Electric Company LLC, which is majority owned by Toshiba. In October last year, Toshiba and Kazatomprom signed a letter of intent in respect of cooperation in rare metals, including niobium, beryllium, tantalum and rhenium, and the rare earth elements, and the companies have now reached a definitive agreement on establishing a JV.

The new JV will combine Kazatomprom's expertise in such areas as rare metal extraction and production with Toshiba's experience in sales, marketing, development and production, and will initially conduct global sales and marketing of niobium-based products for superconductor applications and beryllium products for experimental nuclear fusion reactors. These products have been developed by both Toshiba and Kazatomprom and will be manufactured at Kazatomprom's Ulba factory. The JV will also market tantalum.

Looking to the future and in order to make full and effective use of its technology to recover rare metals, the JV will also study the extraction and marketing of rhenium, used in superalloys for airplanes and gas turbines, and dysprosium and neodymium, which are used in motors for electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles. It will also carry out surveys to identify further sources of rare metals in Kazakhstan, and seek to extend its business into new areas.

Outline of the joint venture

Name: To be decided
Capital: US$ 5 million
Ownership: Kazatomprom 51%, Toshiba 49%
Representative: To be decided
Business: - Sales for niobium and beryllium application products and tantalum
- Development of niobium, beryllium and tantalum application products
- Studies for effective recovery and sales of by-products from uranium mines, such as dysprosium, neodymium and rhenium
- Studies of new sources of rare metals in the Republic of Kazakhstan

 

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