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Russia’s leading uranium miner to prospect in Namibia

Russia’s leading uranium mining company, Atomredmetzoloto, a subsidiary of state nuclear power company Atomenergoprom, said on Monday it intends to start uranium prospecting in Namibia in the Q3 of 2008.

Atomredmetzoloto intends to set up a joint venture with a subsidiary of Russia’s second largest bank VTB, VTB Capital Namibia, and investment company Arlan, with headquarters in Namibia. Arlan will hold 75% minus one share in the JV, while Atomredmetzoloto and VTB Capital Namibia will possess 25% plus one share, Atomenergoprom said in a news release. Atomenergoprom, set up in 2007, became a part of state nuclear power corporation Rosatom in February this year.

Atomredmetzoloto will prepare a feasibility study and act as the project’s manager, while VTB’s subsidiary will contribute two uranium prospecting licenses to the JV. Arlan will provide funds for the project, with initial investment estimated at $4.5 million, the news release said. The JV will carry out prospecting in the promising Klein Spitzkoppe area of southwestern Namibia. Prospecting is expected to last two or three years, and yield uranium reserves of at least 5,000 tons, the news release said (