In Mongolia, Macron targets uranium through his historic visit

In Mongolia, Macron targets uranium through his historic visit

Ludovic Marin/AFP Macron defended energy projects during his visit to Mongolia on Sunday, May 21. (Pictured: Mongolian Prime Minister Lovsanam Sirin Uyun Erden and Emmanuel Macron shake hands at the Government Palace in Ulaanbaatar)

Ludovic Marin/AFP

Macron defended energy projects during his visit to Mongolia on Sunday, May 21. (Pictured: Mongolian Prime Minister Lovsanam Sirin Uyun Erden and Emmanuel Macron shake hands at the Government Palace in Ulaanbaatar)

Energy – copper, gold, iron, uranium, rare earths, oil… “geological vault” From Asia, this did not escape Emmanuel Macron. The head of state was welcomed on Sunday May 21 for the first visit by a French head of state to Mongolia, where he promoted an energy-focused partnership with the landlocked country between China and Russia. One of the mineral resources that interests the president the most is uranium for nuclear power, which underpins his energy strategy.

During his visit, Emmanuel Macron also fervently defended the cause of the French nuclear group Urano, which has already been in the country since 1997 and is a candidate for a major uranium extraction program. This project, which still needs to be approved by the Mongolian government, could become one of the most important mines in the world.

A critical resource for the energy transition

The Head of State assured that the site would be respected “best environmental and social standards”while the company is often criticized by local environmental movements. “Partnership with Orano is a structural element”And “This will make it possible to extract extremely important minerals.”He added, referring to his quest for “Energy sovereignty” For France.

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Since the beginning of the 2000s, the uranium used in French nuclear power plants has been entirely imported, according to an article published by launch. To operate the nuclear fleet, EDF needs about 7,800 tons of natural uranium on average each year, and mainly calls the Orano group, according to the investigation by our colleagues.

Paris is trying to break away from Russia at any cost for its supplies, on which it now depends Diversified sources located mainly in Australia, Kazakhstan and Niger in 2021. The Department of Energy indicated to move to CheckNewsAnd in July 2022.

France is also setting its sights on other projects to exploit the new rare earths, which are found in abundance in the subsoil of Mongolia. Among them, some are important for the transition to carbon-free energy, such as the lithium needed for electric vehicle batteries.

Decarbonization of the Mongolian economy

In return, Paris pledges to facilitate financing Mongolia’s environmental transformation with cooperation in the field of renewable energies and nuclear energy. This semi-desert country, subject to extreme temperatures, is particularly vulnerable to climate change. Furthermore, we point out on the French side, that it is 90% dependent on coal for electricity generation and therefore needs to decarbonize its economy.

Right now, 86% of Mongolia’s total exports, all commodities combined, go to China. Half of these Chinese purchases of coal. “The fact that Mongolia is on the way back (from Hiroshima, editor’s note) allows us to make this a history first.” on important issues geostrategic planThis was explained in the delegation accompanying the French President.

“Mongolia is a landlocked country between Russia and China, but it is also a country that has a liberal model of government, holds elections, has seen turns, and is also seeking to diversify its partnerships to be more powerful and able to deal under better conditions with its Russian and Chinese neighbors.”Explains the president’s relatives.

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In Ulaanbaatar, after meeting his counterpart in a square erected inside the presidential palace, Emmanuel Macron took part in a state dinner at the Genghis Khan Museum, named after the great 13th-century Mongolian conqueror. The Foundation will present part of its collection to the Museum of History in Nantes, in western France, in an exhibition scheduled for October. The French president, who is due to return to Paris at the end of the evening, had invited Ochna Khorlsukh to pay a state visit to France in October.

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