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Renova says uranium project in South Africa jeopardized

MOSCOW, July 13 (RIA Novosti) - Renova, a leading Russian asset management company, said Friday the implementation of its joint uranium mining project in South Africa had been delayed, jeopardizing its place on the country's uranium market.

In January, Renova Group and Techsnabexport, Russia's state-run nuclear equipment exporter, agreed to set up joint ventures in South Africa and later singed a memorandum of understanding with South Africa's Harmony Gold Mining on cooperation in developing gold and uranium deposits.

"We have not yet determined a mechanism for cooperating with Techsnabexport, and a joint venture has not been set up, although we reached an agreement in January," said Dmitry Suchkov, an advisor to Renova on international projects.

Speaking at a meeting in the Ministry of Natural Resources, Suchkov said the delay in the implementation of the project could seriously hamper Russia's plans to win the battle for South African uranium tenders.

Russia has been looking to increase its presence on the world nuclear fuel market, but has encountered resistance and strong competition, particularly from the United States, which imposed anti-dumping restrictions on Russian nuclear fuel imports in 1992.

Renova Group, controlled by tycoon Viktor Vekselberg, is a stakeholder and strategic investor in leading Russian stand-alone and holding companies in the metallurgical, oil, machine engineering, mining, chemical, construction, housing, utilities and financial sectors.

Techsnabexport, which operates on the world market under the Tenex brand, is one of the world's largest suppliers of nuclear fuel cycle products and services, and has subsidiaries in Germany, South Korea and Japan.

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