1 April 2006

The Australian: Decade to satisfy China's demand for our uranium [April 01, 2006]

The Australian: Decade to satisfy China's demand for our uranium [April 01, 2006]: "AUSTRALIA is years away from being able to supply China with the 20,000 tonnes of uranium it is expected to import each year by 2015.

Resources Minister Ian Macfarlane, who will tomorrow brief Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in Perth on Australia's trade, said it was unlikely there would be a new uranium mine in Australia before the end of this decade.
Officials from both countries were working last night on the final details of an agreement that would allow China to buy Australian uranium and explore for the energy material to feed its nuclear power industry.
Mr Wen and John Howard are expected to sign the agreement in Canberra next week.
'China is expected to be importing 20,000 tonnes of uranium within 10 years, which gives us a great opportunity to supply that demand if we can finalise an agreement,' Mr Macfarlane said yesterday. 'But turning the agreement into firm mines will take some time.'
Mr Macfarlane said he thought it unlikely that Australia would bring any new uranium mines into production before the end of the decade. He repeated his call for Labor governments to reject ALP national policy banning the development of new uranium mines.
Mr Wen, who arrives in Perth tonight, faces a hectic program in the western capital.
He will be briefed by Mr Macfarlane tomorrow before travelling south to Kwinana to inspect the commercialisation of Australia's biggest research and development project, Rio Tinto's $300million HISmelt facility. China has a 5 per cent stake in the development, which is designed to produce a direct feed stock from iron ore for use in steel mills.
Mr Wen will also visit a research facility at Curtin University, which is involved in developing LNG technology"

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