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New deal with China on uranium exports will create jobs for Canadians: CME

Published by Derek Lothian on February 09, 2012

A new deal struck today between Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Chinese government will open new markets for Saskatchewan uranium and will create sustainable, high-paying jobs in the country's fastest growing economy, according to Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME).

Under the agreement, China will be granted access to imports of Canadian Yellowcake for the first time, providing it verifies the uranium is being used for civilian purposes. The pact could be worth as much as $3 billion.

"Northern resource development is a cornerstone in Canada's strategy to diversify energy production and increase the standard of living for Canadians," explains CME President & CEO, Jayson Myers. "Saskatchewan's Athabasca Basin is home to the largest high-grade uranium deposit in the world. As such, it has the potential to be a major source of employment and long-term economic stability."

Forty-two per cent of mine workers in northern Saskatchewan are Aboriginal. Experts suggest that number may grow dramatically over the next five years, as uranium production in the province is expected to double.

"Whether it's uranium from Saskatchewan, oil from Alberta or natural gas from New Brunswick, it's time we capitalize on the potential of our energy supply," says Myers. "CME congratulates the Prime Minister on this important step to open up new opportunities for both Canadian exports and Canadian workers."

Following this week's announcements, CME looks forward to Canada and China finalizing their renewed memorandum of understanding on nuclear energy cooperation to cover research and development activity on recycled uranium and thorium. This would further expand access to China's market for Canadian nuclear technology.

CME Chairman Roy Cook is accompanying the Prime Minister on his trip to China this week with other business leaders from across the country.

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