AUSTRALIA can leverage its doorstep position into the fastest growing world economies of India and China, to drive a new era of uranium exports into Asia, according to one of the country’s most advanced uranium project developers. Toro Energy’s managing director Dr Vanessa Guthrie says that emerging powerhouse economies will drive future global demand for uranium, and nowhere more so than that from China and India.
Addressing the PDAC conference in Toronto, she said: “Australia is on the doorstep in terms of uranium supply into these two growing nuclear economies. With our first-class mining jurisdiction credentials, we need to leverage our position to secure a strong market presence – particularly while the lower Australian dollar gives Australia an increased competitiveness to lock in now, long-term offtake and project financing commitments.
“All current forecasts clearly point to a 20% increase in operable nuclear reactors worldwide by 2025, just 10 years away, with 85% of that reactor growth coming from China and India. By that 2025 timeline, the emerging economies will account for 62% of operable reactors around the globe.
“In real terms, this will see China go from 32 to 97 reactors by 2025; India from 23 to 34; other Asian countries from 71 to 85 with only a marginal increase in Eastern Europe and a fall in reactor numbers in Western Europe.
“Add in just another five years to the equation, and by 2030, there will be an overall 36% increase in operable reactor numbers globally compared to current numbers. Those reactors will need Australian uranium.”
Dr Guthrie said Australia had a ‘welcome mat’ out for uranium development and fresh uranium sector investment and needed to recognize the window of opportunity that the greater acceptance of the role of nuclear in a future clean energy mix, would bring.
Toro wholly owns Australia’s most advanced new uranium development – the Wiluna project in Western Australia. It has sufficient government environmental approvals in place to progress mine development, subject to the company’s current financing and offtake negotiations.
Toro has been one of the better performing uranium stocks on the ASX over the past eight months and has firmed up its corporate and political connections over that period as it moves Wiluna towards final investment decision deadlines.
Earlier this year, Dr Guthrie was appointed by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to the new Australia-India CEO Forum. This high level business group was jointly founded by Mr Abbott and Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to help drive the bilateral economic relationship between Australia and India.