German groups to forge 'raw materials alliance'
German industry giants are clubbing together to secure better access to the world's increasingly scarce raw materials, some of the companies revealed on Thursday.
About a dozen companies such as ThyssenKrupp and BASF, as well as small- and mid-sized companies plan to set up the alliance early next year with the aim of eventually establishing a "raw materials company" that will explore and mine for the crucial commodities in future, the companies said, confirming a corresponding report in the business daily Handelsblatt.
A spokesman for ThyssenKrupp told AFP that each company would initially each put up "hundreds of thousands of euros" for the alliance but their contributions would increase once concrete exploration projects got underway.
BASF, the world's leading chemicals company, confirmed it will be one of the founding members, but refused to disclose how much it would invest in the project.
"At the beginning, financial contributions will go to setting up the alliance. But the amounts will increase once there are concrete projects," said Ulrich Grillo, head of the raw materials committee at German industry federation BDI.
"We're not counting on state participation, but we'd be happy if the government were to support the work of the alliance," Grillo said.
A source close to the companies suggested the government could help "open doors" in countries where the raw materials were present.
© 2011 AFP