China to step up uranium imports; plans to buy mines abroad

China plans to import more uranium this year and is busy scouting to buy uranium mines abroad especially in Canada as it gears up to resume its nuclear power projects in a big way after a year-long halt to review security measures following Fukoshima nuclear disaster.
The prospect that nuclear projects will be started again this year is not the only reason behind China’s prediction that it will import more uranium in 2012, state-run China Daily reported.
Experimental nuclear fusion reactor is seen at a laboratory in the Southwest Institute of Physics in Chengdu. Reuters
Another reason is the likelihood that “a few overseas mines will start production this year,” it quoted Xiao Xinjian, industry expert at the Energy Research Institute, affiliated with the National Development and Reform
Commission, as saying.
China at present buys 95 percent of the uranium from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Namibia and Australia. Canada has “agreed to cooperate” more uranium trade
during Canadian Prime Minster Stephen Harper’s recent visit to China, it said.
China’s Guangdong Nuclear Power Group Co has offered to buy 261.9 million shares from Kalahari Minerals Plc, global resource company owning uranium and gold reserves in Namibia.
The deal, which concerns 98 percent of the ownership of Kalahari Minerals, was approved in February.