France has revealed plans to invest US$548-million dollars in establishing a new state-owned mining company called Compagnie National des Mines de France (CMF), with sub-Saharan Africa being looked at for significant investment.
CMF, another move by the government to revive the industry, marks the establishment of the European nation’s first new state-owned industrial enterprise in 20 years. The company will be built using the same model as Japan’s Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) that was established a decade ago.
An annual budget of US$150-million dollars will be spread out over five to seven years while exploration and exploiting activities at the mine will focus on rare metals like lithium, germanium, tungsten, antimony and rare earths inside France and around the globe including former colonies in Africa, Central Asia and South America, French industry minister Arnaud Montebourg announced late in February.
“Francophone African countries, in particular, would like to work with us rather than do business with foreign multinationals;” Montebourg said for in an interview for French daily newspaper Le Parisien.