France Planning State-Run Mining Company

February 21, 2014


French industry minister Arnaud Montebourg recently said France would invest up to 400 million Euros to create a state-owned mining company to explore for resources from around the world, from rare earths to gold.


"The government's strategy is to consider the state as an intelligent economic actor serving the interests of our nation," Montebourg told the French newspaper Le Parisien.


The state-run mining company would be the first state industrial start-up in 20-years and will be called the National Mining Company of France. It will prospect for resources in France, French overseas territories and elsewhere around the world, including Africa, central Asia and South America.


Some critics have argued that mining is an industry of the past and that investments should be focused elsewhere but Montebourg and others argue that the new mining company would be prospecting for rare earths and for resources such as lithium and germanium. The company will also seek to exploit the considerable reserves of gold in French Guiana.