France to Buy Rare Earths From Mongolia

by | 22. May 2023 - 12:29 | Economy

The Central Asian country will supply France with critical raw materials for its energy transition.

During a state visit by French President Emmanuel Macron to his Mongolian counterpart Ukhnaa Khurelsukh on Sunday, the two countries agreed to cooperate more closely on energy issues, according to a joint statement issued by both governments.

Macron said at the meeting in Mongolia following the G7 Summit that, among other things, the partnership with Mongolian nuclear company Orano would ensure that important critical raw materials needed by France for energy supply and the planned energy transition would be obtained. The state visit has been the first by a French president since 1965 – the year the two countries established diplomatic relations.

Mongolia has large natural resources, including critical minerals and rare earths, but also coal. According to Reuters, roughly 80 percent of Mongolia’s total exports currently go to China. However, the Asian country has been planning for some time to make itself less dependent on its large neighbor, for example by gaining new raw material customers: In recent months, Germany and South Korea, among others, have concluded bilateral raw material partnerships with Mongolia. The increasing decoupling from the People’s Republic is thus in the interest of both sides. 

Photo: iStock/Oleksii Liskonih

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