The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) has stated that the outcome of the section 232 investigation by the United States Department of Commerce into foreign imports of uranium into the US is ‘excellent news’ for Australia’s world-class uranium producers.
President Trump does not agree with the US Secretary of Commerce’s findings that imports of uranium impair US national security.
As such, he has not imposed any punitive measures on imported uranium and the investigation has now been closed.
The key findings of the decision are:
- That the President does not agree with the US Department of Commerce’s finding that uranium imports threaten to impair the national security of the United States as defined under section 232 of the Act;
- That a fuller analysis of national security considerations with respect to the entire nuclear fuel supply chain is necessary at this time; and
- That a Nuclear Fuel Working Group will be established to develop recommendations for reviving and expanding the entire domestic nuclear fuel production chain.
As highlighted in the Memorandum, President Trump is concerned about the challenges faced by the entire US domestic uranium industry in producing uranium fuel so has established the Nuclear Fuel Working Group to expand domestic nuclear fuel production in the United States. The group will report to the President by 10 October 2019.
Chief Executive Officer of the MCA, Tania Constable, said the response by President Trump to the investigation represents a ‘balanced approach’ which recognises the importance of reliable energy suppliers like Australia.
“The outcome removes uncertainty affecting the global uranium market and clears the way for buyers and sellers to discuss long-term supply and demand arrangements,” she said.
Members of Australia’s uranium industry were quick to welcome the statement.
“This is fantastic news,” said CEO of Vimy Resources Limited, Mike Young.
“It is the starting gun to the uranium revival that had been picking up steam before this Section 232 investigation stopped everything in its tracks.”
“I’m pleased that the President, a businessman himself, saw fit to address the bigger issue of the US nuclear fuel supply chain rather than providing a short-term sugar-hit.”
Boss Resources Managing Director, Duncan Craib, also commented: “Australia has been a long-term reliable and important supplier of uranium to the US and this decision will see this continue, underpinning project development in Australia as well as providing foreign investment.”