As per the deal, the Indian companies will be allowed to mine raw Uranium in Australia following this October. The Australian Parliament’s Treaties Committee has already submitted a report earlier this month favoring a “go-ahead” to supply of uranium to India to meet its growing energy requirements. After this treaty is approved by the Parliament, the Indian companies will be free to negotiate deals with the Australian counterparts.
Uranium deal was finalized between the Australian Prime minister Tony Abott and Narender Modi meeting in Australia in September last year. Importantly, it was after 28 years that an Indian prime minister visited Australia paving out the way to era of new relationships in energy and defence sectors. It took almost a year for the recommendations to be finalized by the Australian parliament committee.
Importantly, India would become the first country that is not a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to get Australian uranium.
According to the External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup, “PM Modi thanked PM Trunbull and described the nuclear agreement as a milestone and source of trust and confidence”.
Australia has 40% of the world’s known reserves of uranium. The Australian economy is unique in the OECD in that about 20% of GDP is accounted for by mining and mining services. There are three operating uranium mines in Australia: Ranger in Northern Territory, Olympic Dam in South Australia, and Beverley with Four Mile in South Australia. With Indian companies allowed to tap these resources for power generation, it will lead to stronger ties between both the countries. India’s present uranium needs are so far met with supplies from France, Russia and Kazakhstan.