India, Russia may face fight for Aust uranium: industry
The Federal Government has agreed to sell uranium to India once certain conditions are met. (File photo) (ABC TV)
The Australian uranium industry says India and Russia may have to fight hard for Australian uranium exports.
The Federal Government has agreed to sell uranium to India once certain conditions are met with a deal also likely with Russia.
Australian Uranium Association spokesman Michael Angwin welcomes the expansion of export markets.
He says four sets of safeguard agreements will have to be signed before uranium is exported to India.
He says given world demand for uranium is going to exceed supply in the next decade, there will be tough competition among importers.
“My understanding is that India wouldn’t be requiring our uranium at least for half a decade or so,” he said.
The operator of the Ranger uranium mine in the Northern Territory, Energy Resources of Australia, says there is already strong demand.
It says the flooding of its open pit earlier this year means it is struggling to fill contracts to markets such as the United States, Japan and France.
Mr Angwin says pressure from importers will increase.
“Over the next decade, the demand for uranium is going to exceed its supply,” he said.
“Over the next 25 years there’ll been an increase in demand for uranium around the world of about 50 per cent and so the outlook for Australia is pretty good.”
He says the first step will be finalising the four sets of agreements allowing the trade to open up.
“The US and India would have to conclude their agreement on their own nuclear relationship, the second thing is that India would have to negotiate a safeguards arrangement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),” he said.
“The Nuclear Suppliers Group would have to decide what conditions it sets for exports to India and Australia and India would have to conclude a safeguards agreement.”