A memorandum of understanding (MoU) on mining and processing rare earth in northern Lai Chau province’s Tam Duong district was signed with Japan on May 18.

Under the MoU signed between the Lai Chau-VIMICO Rare Earth Joint Stock Co. and the Japanese Dong Pao Rare Earth Development Co, the project will be carried out in two phases.

The first phase is to research and set up a mine with a capacity of 10,000 tonnes a year.

The second phase is to negotiate over the establishment of a Vietnam-Japan joint venture with charter capital of at least 30 percent of the project’s total investment value.

At a Vietnam-Japan summit in late 2010, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung chose Japan as the partner for cooperation in developing the domestic rare earth industry.

He signed an agreement with Japan ’s Prime Minister Yoshihiki Noda on cooperation in this area last October.-VNA