TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) said it supported the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and India's Department of Atomic Energy finalising and signing the Appropriate Arrangement for Nuclear Cooperation agreement on Monday, which placed the Canadian uranium industry one step closer to trading with India.
"This is tremendous news for Canada's uranium mining industry, which is the second largest in the world. This puts Canada in position to capitalise on growing global demand for nuclear energy and opens up the uranium sector to India, which is a large and strategic emerging market for the commodity as a key source of power," MAC president and CEO Pierre Gratton said.
Finalising the arrangement followed on the heels of the Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of India for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy.
The arrangement outlined the tracking, monitoring and reporting requirements that would ensure the material is used for peaceful civilian purposes only.
It was the next step towards full implementation of the Nuclear Cooperation Agreement (NCA) between Canada and India, which was signed in 2010.
Monday’s signing also followed Prime Minister Stephen Harper's statement in November 2012 that the negotiations for the arrangement had concluded.
Together, the NCA and the Appropriate Arrangement would allow Canadian companies to export nuclear materials, equipment and technology for peaceful uses to India, in compliance with Canada's nuclear nonproliferation policy.
"The arrangement is a significant accomplishment for Canada, and bodes well for the country's uranium producers and the Canadian export industry as a whole. Symbolically, it demonstrates Canada's commitment to nuclear cooperation with other countries, while ensuring our nuclear products are used for peaceful purposes only,” Gratton said.
According to MAC's ‘Facts & Figures 2012’ report, global demand for uranium had increased in recent years as countries had embarked on new nuclear energy programmes or expanded existing ones.
Canadian uranium producer Cameco's McArthur River mine, in northern Saskatchewan, is the world's largest and highest-grade uranium deposit. Together, uranium and potash propelled Saskatchewan to be ranked the second-largest region in Canada by mineral production value, in 2011, at $9.2-billion.