[enviro-vlc] Vietnam Asks Canada’s NWT to Assess Uranium Mining Potential
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Tue Sep 21 13:30:39 EST 2010
From: Stephen Denney <srdenney at gmail.com>
Date: 9 September 2010 10:37:35 AM PDT
To: vnnews-l at anu.edu.au
Subject: [vnnews-l] HI/FR-CANADA: Vietnam Asks Canada’s NWT to Assess Uranium Mining Potential
Vietnam Asks Canada’s NWT to Assess Uranium Mining Potential
September 08, 2010, 8:55 AM EDT
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By Bloomberg News
Sept. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Vietnam’s Atomic Energy Institute signed an
agreement with Canada’s NWT Uranium Corp. to assess the uranium
potential of the Southeast Asian nation, which is preparing to develop
a nuclear power industry.
The agreement between Toronto-based NWT and the Vietnamese institute
calls for the Canadian company to analyze uranium ore in the country,
including assessing the economic and technical feasibility of any
reserves found, NWT said in a stock exchange statement released
NWT intends to ultimately help “develop the country’s nuclear energy
sector,” the company said. “NWT Uranium believes that this memorandum
of understanding is the first step to realizing its strategy in
Vietnam of discovering, exploring and mining uranium properties in the
Russia’s Rosatom Corp. has been selected to take part in building
Vietnam’s first nuclear power plant, with work due to start in 2014,
the Vietnam Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety said in June.
Japan’s trade minister led a group of companies on an August visit to
Hanoi to pitch a Japanese role in subsequent plants.
The Vietnam News reported in 2008 that Vietnam planned to mine uranium
in the central province of Quang Nam to help support its nuclear power
plans. The site targeted in Quang Nam may hold about 8,000 metric
tons, while Vietnam’s nationwide uranium reserves may reach into the
hundreds of thousands of tons, according to the Vietnam News report.
Vietnam’s government signed an agreement with the International Atomic
Energy Agency in 2007 that “reaffirmed our policies on exclusively
peaceful utilization of atomic energy,” according to a statement on
the website of the Vietnamese nuclear safety agency.
In 2007, the U.S. Energy Department helped Vietnam convert a civilian
research reactor in the south-central city of Dalat from the use of
highly enriched uranium to low enriched uranium fuel. In March of this
year, the American and Vietnamese governments signed an accord to
develop “the regulatory and physical infrastructure needed for a safe
and secure Vietnamese civilian nuclear power sector.”
Shares in NWT, which describes itself as an “exploration stage
company,” jumped 8.1 percent yesterday in Toronto, the biggest gain
“There are areas in central Vietnam such as Quang Nam which have the
younger types of rocks which are more conducive to uranium, so it’s
not implausible,” said David Woodhouse, a director of the Vietnam
Resource Investments Holdings Ltd. fund.
“If Vietnam were to find any uranium it would certainly be cheaper for
them to use their own reserves for nuclear power even if anything they
found had to be shipped outside the country for processing,” Woodhouse
said in a telephone interview today from Hanoi.
--Jason Folkmanis in Ho Chi Minh City. Editors: John Viljoen, Jane Lee.
To contact the reporter on this story: Jason Folkmanis in Ho Chi Minh
City at folkmanis at bloomberg.net
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Anstey in
Tokyo at canstey at bloomberg.net
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