China and Russia are teaming up for a joint uranium mining project in Western Russia.
The ARMZ Uranium holding subsidiary of Russian state owned energy giant Rosatom will be partnering with the Russia-China Investment fund (RCIF) on the $325 million project in the Zabaikalsky region.
The Priargunsky Industrial Mining and Chemical Union will reportedly own 51% of the new project, while ARMZ will hold the remaining 49%. The majority of the financing will come from the China National Nuclear Corporation with a $282 million investment, while the RCIF will put up the rest.
The mine has a total reported reserves of 40,000 tons of uranium ore, with an annual capacity of 850,000 tons expected – and will break ground by 2023.
China is the first foreign country allowed to invest in Russian uranium mining, which the Kremlin has been aggressively pursuing as part of a “uranium dominance strategy” uncovered by undercover FBI whistleblower William D. Campbell, who supplied the agency with information from the highest levels of Russia’s nuclear industry.
The strategy included the purchase of Canadian-based Uranium One, which gave the Kremlin rights to 20% of American yellowcake uranium.
Campbell told lawmakers the purchase of the Uranium One assets and the securing of billions of new uranium sales contracts inside the United States during the Obama years were part of the “Russian uranium dominance strategy.” –The Hill
Campbell, despite being severely ill with cancer, testified before Congress about his undercover work – telling them of a scheme to route millions of dollars to the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) through lobbying firm APCO, which was expected to funnel a portion of its annual $3 million lobbying fee to the charity.
“The contract called for four payments of $750,000 over twelve months. APCO was expected to give assistance free of charge to the Clinton Global Initiative as part of their effort to create a favorable environment to ensure the Obama administration made affirmative decisions on everything from Uranium One to the U.S.-Russia Civilian Nuclear Cooperation agreement.“ –William Campbell
Officials with APCO – the lobbying firm accused of funneling the money to the Clinton Global Initiative, told The Hill that its support for CGI and its work for Russia were not connected in any way, and involved different divisions of the firm.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Rosatom expects to sign foreign contracts worth $26 billion in 2018 for the construction and maintenance of nuclear power plants in India, Iran, Egypt, China and several other countries – including 16 plants in Saudi Arabia.