China to dial up overseas uranium development

China is set to expand its development of overseas uranium sources, with the nation's leading state-owned nuclear power company announcing on Monday that it will speed up investment and exploration in Australia, Africa and Central Asia.

The China Daily reports
that Sun Qin, chairman of the China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) which is responsible for the operation of over 40% of the country's nuclear sites, said on Monday that the company "will enhance efforts on exploring the resources both at home and abroad," and will also "step up uranium mining projects in foreign countries."

Sun expects half of future domestic demand to be satisfied by overseas sources, and that in future key overseas markets will include Australia, Africa and Central Asia. This marks little change from China's present uranium supply portfolio, with around 95% of imports coming from Kazakhstan, Namibia, Australia and Uzbekistan.

Sun also noted that Chinese miners could capitalize upon the debt woes of the flailing Eurozone to expand their overseas operations.

The Australian Financial Review meanwhile reports that CNNC plans to use expansion into Australian uranium projects to test the country's foreign investment rules.