Australia eager to expand uranium industry

The Australian government has shown interest in developing the country's uranium sector in the midst of declining metals prices.

Gary Gray, the federal resources minister, recently attended the Australian Uranium and Rare Earths Conference where he expressed expanding uranium production – the country holds 33% of the world's uranium.

"Despite some recent slowing in the industry, two important drivers of nuclear power remain unchanged – the rising energy demand from growing populations and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions," Gray said. "Australia is in a strong position to maximise these opportunities."

Uranium prices are down but with China and India set to add 35 reactors over the next two decades, Gray has high hopes for the industry.

"Australia already supplies around 22 per cent of China's uranium and negotiations are underway with India for a bilateral safeguards agreement which will pave the way for significant exports in the future" he said, adding that uranium demand is set to outpace supply "as early as next year."

The government has been working with the country's Uranium Council to boost uranium. Actions include streamlining regulations and promoting investment.

Creative Commons image by: Alberto Otero García