(RIA Novosti) -- Techsnabexport, Russia's state-controlled uranium supplier and provider of uranium enrichment services, and Japan's Mitsui & Co are starting a joint project to develop a uranium ore field in Russia, the Russian company said Friday.
"On October 5, Techsnabexport, which operates on the world market under the Tenex brand, and a major Japanese company, Mitsui & Co., signed an agreement by which the two companies will undertake a joint feasibility study on the development of a sector of the Yuzhnaya zone of the Elkon uranium ore field, in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)," the company said in a news release.
It said the agreement is unique, because for the first time a foreign company will be directly involved in preparing a feasibility study on a uranium development project in Russia, reports Trend.
Russia said in late September its estimated stock of uranium amounts to 615,000 tons, and that it accounts for 8% of the world's uranium output.
Russia's nuclear chief Sergei Kiriyenko said earlier the country's reserves of coal and natural gas will be depleted in 50 years, and in response Russia is planning to expand its nuclear energy sector and meet 60-70% of its uranium demand domestically by 2015.
He said Russia intends to extend its cooperation with all uranium-producing countries.
Techsnabexport provides about 35% of global uranium supplies and plans to expand its operations in Central Asia and the Asia-Pacific region.