WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) – Two of the world’s biggest uranium miners, Rio Tinto PLC and Areva SA , are pressing Canada to change a Cold War era policy that curbs foreign ownership of uranium mines.The campaign, backed by the Australian government, two Canadian provinces and Western Australia-based uranium producer Paladin Energy Ltd , could unlock some of the world’s highest-grade ore for development just as demand for the radioactive element looks to surge. Unlike Australia, which has no restrictions on uranium-mine ownership, Canada restricts foreign companies from owning more than 49 percent of any uranium mine. There are no ownership restrictions on foreign participation in exploration. “It’s such an absurd situation,” John Borshoff, managing director of Paladin, said in an interview. It’s “something that is an anachronism from the Cold War”. Borshoff said the Australian government, Rio Tinto and Paladin are joining forces to lobby Ottawa, while the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador are also pressing for change.
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