Uranium: untapped potential

Australia has the world's largest endowment of uranium resources in the world, with around one-third of global resources.

And at around 12 per cent of world annual production, Australia is also the world’s third largest producer behind Kazakhstan and Canada.

Australia generated $596 million in export earnings from uranium in 2016-17 with the potential for substantial further growth as demand for low emissions base load electricity increases in highly populated energy scarce countries like China and India.

All of Australia’s uranium is sold to countries with which we have a bilateral agreement, committing them to use it only for peaceful purposes.

Uranium for nuclear technology extends beyond energy production to the production of medicines for life saving diagnosis and treatment.

Australia’s uranium industry will continue to supply fuel for affordable, base-load, near zero emissions electricity to people around the world.

The members of the Minerals Council of Australia with interests in uranium meet regularly as the MCA Uranium Forum. The MCA Uranium Forum has 12 full members and two associate members covering Australia’s uranium producers, major developers, explorers and service providers to the industry.

The Chair of the MCA Uranium Forum is Mr Mike Young, Managing Director and CEO, Vimy Resources Ltd. 

The MCA Uranium Forum provides a national and international perspective on global nuclear fuel activities, which provide the overall context for Australia's uranium exploration, mining and export industry.

The vision of the Forum is for the Australian uranium industry to be globally recognised as a safe, responsible, transparent and successful supplier of fuel for clean electricity generation.

Its purpose is to represent the uranium industry by articulating the national and global benefit of Australian uranium exploration, mining and export, as well as by advocating the industry's views to government and the community.

The aim of the MCA Uranium Forum is to ensure the uranium industry is able to expand and thrive safely and efficiently in an environment of:

  • policy certainty and a stable investment climate
  • fit-for-purpose regulatory and compliance arrangements based on the best available scientific evidence
  • recognition as an operationally responsible industry, including in its relationships with Indigenous communities, environmental management and occupational health and safety
  • public confidence and acceptance.

The MCA will also continue to advocate for the lifting of the nuclear energy ban in Australia.

Nuclear energy was banned less than two decades ago in Australia, a decision that has cost the nation significant global investment and scientific collaboration on new nuclear technologies.

The good news is the nuclear ban can be reversed with a single amendment to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Commonwealth). 

Nuclear energy is a readily deployable, zero emissions, baseload energy and it shouldn’t be excluded from Australia’s energy mix.
It has met energy challenges around the world, powers more than 30 economies and been deployed at substantial scale within a decade in countries such as the UAE.
Nuclear power is also behind the new generation of innovative nuclear start-ups, such as Bill Gates’ TerraPower and Transatomic out of MIT.
Australia, with its educated workforce, established uranium, nuclear research and university sectors and strong nonproliferation credentials, would be a partner of choice for private venture capital-funded new nuclear power.