And this week, we got more confirmation.
The country is India. Which is now looking to build a "strategic uranium reserve" in order to support its burgeoning nuclear sector.
Reports emerged in the local press Sunday suggesting that the reserve could be sizeable. With unnamed officials suggesting that the government could look to stock up to 15,000 tonnes (over 33 million pounds) of uranium. Related: Dispute Between Baghdad and Kurdistan Holds Back Iraqi Oil Potential
A proposal to approve 5,000 tonnes of reserves has reportedly already been sent to India's cabinet. But sources said that figure would likely be revised upward over the coming years.
Such a buying spree would obviously be good news for the uranium mining industry. So the question is: where will this supply come from?
Some will be sourced from within India. With the country's uranium production currently running around 1,250 tonnes (2.75 million pounds) yearly. Related: Mexico’s First Offshore Auction A Major Disappointment
But the reserve will likely require supply beyond domestic output. And recent government comments give some clues about which countries could benefit.
Officials have said that the majority of their current yearly uranium demand (about 650 tonnes) will be met by supply from Kazakhstan. Indeed, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Central Asian nation last week and renewed a supply contract for 5,000 tonnes of uranium.
But the building of the stockpile will likely require supply above and beyond this. And officials have said they will be looking to one country to fill the gap: Australia. Related: What The Iran Deal Could Mean For Natural Gas Markets
Negotiations in May between India and Australia have opened the door for supply deals here. And we could start seeing substantial amounts of supply flowing between the two nations as the stockpile gets built.
India's officials have also visited Canada recently to discuss uranium. So there's a chance production from this key center could help in the creation of the reserve.
Whatever the case, miners somewhere are going to benefit. And perhaps uranium prices as well, as global supply gets notably tighter.
Here's to being reserved,
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