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Australia and China sign deal on uranium trade

Written by: Staff
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CANBERRA, Apr 3 (Reuters) Australia and China signed a nuclear safeguards deal today witnessed by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Australian Prime Minister John Howard, to allow Beijing to import Australian uranium for power generation.

Australia, which has about 40 per cent of the world's known uranium reserves, only allows uranium sales to members of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty who also agree to a separate bilateral safeguards deal.

Australia currently has only three operating uranium mines, owned by BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and General Atomics of the United States, and Canberra has said significant uranium exports to China were unlikely to start until 2010.

REUTERS AD RN0707

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