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Uranium imports to stay on track (3)

By Wang Qian and Du Juan (China Daily)

09:43, November 06, 2012

The newly discovered uranium deposit comes as a sign that China can increase its domestic uranium supplies and secure the fuel needed to develop its nuclear programs, according to the Ministry of Land and Resources.

Yan Weidong, deputy director of the management and development division of the Ministry of Land and Resources' information center, said plans haven't been made to recover resources from the deposit, but the discovery will definitely influence the price of uranium and decrease the country's dependence on imports.

In general, the price of uranium fluctuates from tens of dollars per half a kilogram to $130 per half kilogram.

China imported 16,126 tons of uranium in 2011, 6 percent fewer than the 17,135 tons it imported in 2010, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.

The country buys 95 percent of its uranium from Kazakhstan, Namibia, Australia and Uzbekistan.

Besides purchasing foreign uranium, China's nuclear companies have been seeking opportunities to mine uranium abroad.

In March, China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group and the China-Africa Development Fund agreed to buy the Australian mining company Extract Resources Ltd for $2.3 billion in order to gain access to the world's fourth-largest deposits of uranium, which are in Namibia.

<i>Xinhua contributed to this story. </i>

<i>Contact the writers at [email protected] and [email protected] </i>

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