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Joint exploration of uranium resources in Uzbekistan

Jul. 17, 2008


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Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (Head office: Ohtemachi, Chiyodaku, Tokyo, CEO: Shoei Utsuda) signed the protocol of intent with State committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan on geology and mineral resources (GOSCOMGEOLOGY) on investigating the possibility of establishment of joint venture for carrying out geological exploration works for "black-shale" type uranium in Uzbekistan.

As a result of signing this document, Mitsui & Co. has been granted an entitlement of exclusive negotiation for 18 months by GOSCOMGEOLOGY, and aiming at joint exploration works, it enters into in-depth discussion regarding terms and conditions of joint exploration, establishment of a joint venture company and performance of exploration works. The subject area selected for joint study is Zapadno-Kokpatasskaya Area potential for "black-shale" type uranium, located 300km north-west to the town of Navoi.

In case that the further detailed discussion would result in mutual agreement, Mitsui & Co. and GOSCOMGEOLOGY would then work on to establish the joint venture company and to obtain necessary licenses for a right of use of subsoil plot for performance of exploration works. The period of the exploration is expected to be 3 years approximately. If as a result of exploration commercial uranium deposit would be discovered, all of uranium concentrates produced will be sold as fuel for electricity generation predominantly to the overseas power utilities. Mitsui & Co. as JV partner will also cooperate in the area of marketing uranium concentrates and any other by-products to be produced.

The Republic of Uzbekistan produces approximately 2,500 tonnes of uranium per annum (the 7th largest in the world) at present time. According to the research of International Atomic Energy Agency, it is reported that 93 thousand tonnes of uranium resources is in Uzbekistan (the 10th largest in the world), which is equivalent to about 3% of the world uranium resources.

Mitsui & Co. has long-term track records in the area of developing overseas energy resources such as oil, LNG and coal etc and in respect of uranium resources for nuclear power generations it investigates investment opportunities in offshore countries in view of contributing to security of energy supply on a global basis.

Overview of GOSCOMGEOLOGY

GOSCOMGEOLOGY is a state administration body for research, legal relationship pertaining to mining, use and conservation of mineral resources, resource development in the Republic of Uzbekistan. This Committee cooperates with the foreign companies for the issues of exploration for solid minerals, including discovery of "black-shale" type uranium deposits.

Notice:
This press release includes forward-looking statements about Mitsui. These forward-looking statements are based on the current assumptions and beliefs of Mitsui in light of the information currently available to it, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors. Such risks, uncertainties and other factors may cause Mitsui's actual results, performance, achievements or financial position to be materially different from any future results, performance, achievements or financial position expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. The risks, uncertainties and other factors referred to above include, but are not limited to, those contained in Mitsui's latest annual report on Form 20-F, which has been filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
This press release is published in order to publicly announce specific facts stated above, and does not constitute a solicitation of investments or any similar act inside or outside of Japan, regarding the shares, bonds or other securities issued by us.

Information

For inquiries on this matter, please contact

Mitsui & Co., Ltd.
Corporate Communications Division
Telephone: +81-3-3285-7562
Facsimile: +81-3-3285-9819