IMERYS Minerals Japan Establishes New Joint Venture Company with Hokuetsu Paper

    BRUSSELS, March 16 /CNW/ - IMERYS Minerals Japan is pleased to announce
that it has formed a joint venture company with Hokuetsu Paper - Niigata GCC
Company, Ltd. The company, for which IMERYS Minerals Japan is the majority
shareholder, will be responsible for the on-site production of ground calcium
carbonate supplying 100% of Hokuetsu Niigata mill's requirement for GCC. The
plant will be supplied with raw materials from IMERYS operations in Malaysia
and Vietnam.

    A ground breaking ceremony for the plant was held on March 6th 2007.
IMERYS is delighted to have been chosen by Hokuetsu as their partner for the
supply of ground calcium carbonate to the Niigata mill. Niigata is one of the
most renowned paper producing sites in Japan. It is also one of the largest
paper producing locations in the world, producing 980,000 mt of paper products
a year.

    IMERYS brings the technology of its products and applications, its local
presence in Japan with two well established GCC plants, and an unsurpassed
access to raw materials in the Asia Pacific region to a partnership with
Hokuetsu that has lasted over the past 20 years.

    IMERYS looks forward to working with Hokuetsu in this venture and
becoming a member of the Niigata community.

    Notes to editors: IMERYS Pigments for Paper is a world leading producer
of white pigments, manufacturing kaolin, ground calcium carbonate (GCC) and
precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC). The business group serves the needs of
the international paper industry and employs 2,846 people, operates 44
industrial sites in 19 countries and represents 23% of IMERYS' overall

For further information:

For further information: IMERYS Pigments for Paper Spencer Farmer, +44
(0)776 664 1967 Global Marketing Director

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