Uranium deal with china ‘important’ for Saskatchewan – by Joe Couture (Saskatoon Star Phoenix – January 10, 2012)


Wall claims ‘great day’ for province

An agreement that is expected to allow Canadian companies to ship uranium to China is “very, very important” for Saskatchewan, Premier Brad Wall said on Thursday in reaction to news from Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s visit to the Asian superpower.

“It’s a great day for Saskatchewan and we want to thank the federal government and the prime minister for raising a very Saskatchewan issue on their trade mission and making progress,” Wall told reporters Thursday at the Legislative Building.

Though a small amount of Saskatchewan uranium has been shipped to China before under special agreements, the new trade agreement signed by Harper is expected to allow Saskatchewan producers to directly sell Canadian yellowcake – a type of uranium concentrate powder – to China, he continued.

“We’ve worked hard to promote the fact that between 20 and 26 per cent of the uranium in the world is mined here and produced here in the province, and that we need to continue opening up markets,” Wall said, noting efforts to sell uranium to China, as well as India, have long been in the works and are now reaching fruition.

“The No. 1 economy in the world in terms of its move toward nuclear power is by far China,” he said. “We were shut out of that market. . We were stymied in the world’s largest market.

“This is a very, very important development.”

Wall said the new deal will allow Saskatoon-based Cameco Corp. to move ahead with supply agreements originally signed with China in 2010 which could be worth as much as $3 billion through 2025. The government expects hundreds of millions in royalties from that arrangement.

“We have Saskatchewan uranium being used to generate electricity,” Wall said. “This also has an important environmental impact on the world. China is building a coal plant on average once every couple of weeks. Of course, the more nuclear power they generate, the less reliant they’ll be on coal. Uranium in terms of CO2 is a clean source of energy.”

For the rest of this article, please go to the Saskatoon Star Phoenix website: http://www.thestarphoenix.com/business/Uranium+deal+with+china+important+Saskatchewan/6130462/story.html