The news that France would establish a new company purely devoted to investment in the mining sector was somewhat of a surprise. The company aptly named The National Mining Company of France will look for rare earths as well as other strategic metals. Upon announcing the new venture, the Minister of Industry commented that “Francophone African countries, notable, would like to work with us rather than do business with foreign multinationals”. I may be wrong, but the lack of experience in this area, combined with very little internal demand for these metals, leaves this venture as a undermanned opponent for the multinationals we are talking about, i.e. China. Be that as it may, it is somewhat refreshing to see governments taking a contrarian approach to investment in a sector which clearly needs long term patient capital.