Uranium miners are being urged to get their State and Commonwealth approvals in place over the next 18 months in preparation for a dramatic surge in demand for uranium from China in the next 15 years.
Western Australia’s Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion said,“Our biggest trading partner, China, is set to lead the charge for a cleaner, lower-carbon emission future – and we are in the box seat to ride the rising market for uranium.”
“China already has 20 reactors on line, with 29 more under construction, and plans to triple its nuclear power generation by 2020, then triple it again by 2030.”
The Minister made the statements while addressing the 10th annual Australian Uranium and Rare Earths Conference in Perth yesterday.
“We have seen competitor nations expand their energy mining sectors and now, with Australia home to one-third of the world’s known reserves, it’s time we embraced a leadership role as well,” Mr Marmion said.
“An increasing number of rational people across the world are seeing nuclear energy, with its low carbon emissions and base-load power capacity, as a fundamental part of the response to climate change,” he said.
Australia recently signed a supply agreement with the United Arab Emirates and negotiations continue with India, which has 21 reactors in operation, six under construction and 35 planned.
Mr Marmion acknowledged recent challenges faced by the industry but urged conference participants to take advantage of opportunities.
“Now is the time for consolidation,” he said. “Over the next 18 months get all of your Commonwealth and State approvals in place so that you are best placed to capitalise on the next phase of market expansion.”