India looks to access uranium ore from South Africa

Pretoria, South Africa: With one of the most ambitious nuclear energy programmes in the world, India is working out mechanisms with South Africa to access uranium ore from that country. Uranium ore is abundantly available in this African nation.

According to Virender Gupta, Indian high commissioner to South Africa, accessing ore from S. Africa should not be a difficult proposition. "We are already beginning to consider how to go about it. In the long term, it will be in our interest to access uranium directly from South Africa," he said.

Gupta maintained he did not see any difficulties in procuring ore from S Africa given the fact that India had signed a civil nuclear agreement and had received a waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers Group of which South Africa is a member.

Giving details of the growing India-South Africa relations, the envoy said bilateral trade had been growing at an unexpected rate, surpassing set target.

Last year, when president Zuma visited India, the two countries had set a bilateral trade target of $10 billion, to be achieved by 2012. However, by March this year, bilateral trade had already crossed $11 billion mark.

South Africa is now one of the largest coal suppliers to India.