There’s been a lot of talk in uranium about burgeoning Chinese demand being a saviour for miners.
But another, more surprising nation is also making a push this week to secure supplies.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Canada yesterday. With his visit representing the first India-Canada governmental visit in 42 years — and a chance to discuss securing uranium supply for India’s growing nuclear sector.
Prior to departing for the trip, Modi made it clear that uranium was a key issue in talks with Canada. Noting that “sourcing uranium fuel for our nuclear power plants” was one of his biggest goals for the current visit.
Sources told local press that talks are already well advanced between Indian interests and Canadian uranium producers. With mining giant Cameco being mentioned as the most likely supplier.
A look at the numbers makes it clear why uranium is such a big priority for India. Because the country’s nuclear program is in the middle of a massive buildout.
India’s current installed nuclear capacity stands at 5,780 megawatts. But according to reports released by the government last month, that is expected to jump to 10,080 megawatts by 2019.
That represents a 74% increase in nuclear generation. All of it coming in the next few years.
India does have some domestic production of uranium to support its reactors. But not nearly enough to be completely supplied.
Uranium imports are thus going to be a big issue for the government over the coming months and years. Watch for details on supply deals being completed in Canada — and for investigations into production from other parts of the world.
It will also be interesting to see if India’s growing nuclear demand prompts the nation to get more-directly involved in mining projects. Which could provide a welcome source of funding for developers, amid the current challenging market environment.