News Release - February 9, 2012
PRIME MINISTER HARPER’S URANIUM DEAL GOOD FOR SASKATCHEWAN
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall today congratulated Prime Minister Stephen Harper on a new deal allowing uranium sales to China.
"I had a chance to speak with the Prime Minister by telephone on the weekend and was aware that pursuing this agreement was a priority for the China mission," Wall said. "I offered my support and I'm very glad he was successful."
Under existing regulations, China is prohibited from purchasing Canadian Yellowcake (Uranium as U3O8). This new agreement calls on the Chinese government to verify Canadian uranium is being used for appropriate civilian purposes.
According to Saskatoon-based Cameco, the deal allows the company to move ahead with supply agreements signed in 2010, which could be worth as much as $3 billion.
"The World Nuclear Association is predicting a six-fold increase in Chinese nuclear capacity by 2020," Wall said. "Over all, 42 per cent of workers in our northern mines are aboriginal. This new agreement and the new investment it will promote are a boon for all northerners, particularly young people looking for well paying long-term jobs. And let's not forget that every nuclear generating facility China builds to meet demand for electricity means less reliance on coal.
"Since China is adding a new coal-fired generating plant at a rate of one every two weeks, anything we can do to encourage cleaner energy is important."
Saskatchewan is one of the world's largest producers of uranium and the Athabasca Basin contains the world's largest, high-grade uranium deposits. Uranium production in Saskatchewan is expected to nearly double by 2017.
"In a world where the fastest growing economies like China are seeking food and energy security, Saskatchewan is well positioned," Wall said.
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