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India alert to acquisition of uranium assets in Australia news
24 November 2011

Should Australia reverse its policy on uranium sales to India, Indian companies and entities wouldn't mind acquiring uranium mines in that country, according to senior officials involved with India's nuclear establishment.

"Definitely, we are looking for that kind of opportunity," Atomic Energy Commission chairman, Srikumar Banerjee, told newspersons on the sidelines of the 'Sustainable Energy Summit' organised by the India Energy Forum.

However, Banerjee warned that acquiring mines abroad was a very complex process. "We are definitely interested in acquiring assets abroad where ever they are - be it Africa, Australia or elsewhere," he said.

Australia has the world's largest reserves of uranium with a higher grade of ore than those found elsewhere in the world. Currently, Australia exports uranium to China, Japan, Taiwan and the United States.

According to AK Sarangi of the Uranium Corporation of India, in case of a policy shift by Canberra a serious review of Australian uranium assets will be conducted by the Indian government, which could lead to acquisition of properties in the uranium-rich country.

Sarangi said that India's accelerated push towards industrialisation and its energy requirements could lead to the purchase of uranium deposits for use in the country's nuclear power plants.

Speculation along these lines has begun to mount with Australian PM Julia Gillard now asserting that her party's ideological stance vis--vis uranium sales to India is out-dated and needs to be revised. She has characterised it as a policy of ''all pain and no gain.''

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India alert to acquisition of uranium assets in Australia