Calgary: Canada has said it will allow the sale of uranium to China for use in nuclear energy generation, clearing the way for Canadian producers to compete with China`s current suppliers in Kazakhstan, Australia and Russia.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the deal was one of several trade pacts signed between the Chinese and Canadian governments and companies during a visit to Beijing by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Harper has said opening new markets in Asia for Canada`s energy and mining resources is a priority, as the country moves to improve ties with China and reduce its reliance on the US.
His government ramped up those efforts after the Obama administration rejected a crude-oil pipeline plan.
Almost all of Canada`s oil exports go to the US.
The new agreement allows the sale to China of yellowcake, a concentrated uranium powder used to make fuel rods for nuclear reactors. It can also be used to make weapons.
The pact will ensure that uranium exported to China will be used only for peaceful, civilian purposes, the Canadian Prime Minister’s office said.
Canada produces about a fifth of the world’s uranium and exports more than 80 percent of its production, according to the World Nuclear Association.
It is now the world’s No 2 exporter, after Kazakhstan. Canada sends most of its exports to the US, Europe and Japan.